Here’s a blog post for the kind of person who knows all sorts of surprising and interesting facts. These are the kinds of people who can be the source of both entertainment and education, but who for some reason rarely find it easy to get others to talk to them at parties. It’s a mystery. (Incidentally, I am above average at coming up with factoids. And yet I have a below average number of friends.)
So here’s an interesting fact. Did you know that there were over 60 causes of vaginal itch? This conversation stopping bit of information was used in an advert in the UK by the makers of Vagisil. I have to say it would attract my attention. It also attracted the attention of the ASA after someone complained.
The complainant challenged whether the claim “there are over 60 reasons your intimate area could feel itchy” was misleading and could not be substantiated.
The manufacturers could and did use the obvious defence of producing a list. It had 64 causes on it. So now you know.
But they also put forward a defence along the lines that it wasn’t actually important to the point they were making. Their advert was primarily intended to convey factual information about the benefits of their product in treating the condition. This didn’t really rely on the number of causes of the dryness in the first place. Nobody was going to buy their product to solve their problem because of the number of ways the problem could occur.
This was accepted by the ASA. It turns out that it doesn’t hugely matter if the facts you are quoting in your copy aren’t particularly well founded so long as they aren’t deployed in a way that is misleading. Some background information to give a bit of colour to a claim is fine.