P&G's Crest advert brushes Chinese authorities up the wrong way

By Michelle Yeomans contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Procter & gamble

Crest toothpaste on sale at a store in Zhengzhou. (File photo/CNS)
Crest toothpaste on sale at a store in Zhengzhou. (File photo/CNS)
Chinese authorities have fined P&G $958,000 following the regulator's ruling that claims in its' advertising for Crest toothpaste were overstated.

This is reported to be the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce's largest fine to date, which took the personal care giant's toothpaste division to task over 'digitally altered images'.

The Shanghai Administration posted on its official Sina Weibo microblog that Crest had "overplayed the effects of some of its toothpaste and used digital software to 'touch up' images used in advertising to make teeth look whiter."

According to The Financial Times, China’s regulators recently stepped up scrutiny on international and domestic companies, imposing increasingly aggressive fines to protect the interests of consumers. 

In response to the ruling, Crest posted on its' official Chinese microblog that the advert in question had been pulled mid 2014, but didn't comment as to whether the brand would be contesting the regulator's fine.

P&G's Asia focus

Procter & Gamble has been targeting the Southeast Asia market in recent years, to profit from the region’s growth, and balance stagnant sales in the West.

The plan has been to develop technologies and ingredients for hair care products and cosmetics tailored to Asian consumers.

The personal care player joins French cosmetics firm L'Oreal with a Singapore research hub, who opened a similar facility last year to conduct skin-related research.

P&G allocated 250 million Singapore dollars ($200 million) to build and equip the complex for formulating and evaluating ingredients and is the company's fourth R&D base in Asia, after sites in Kobe, Beijing and Bangalore.

Last month, it also opened new offices at the Metropolis in Singapore, marking the beginning of a new chapter in the growth of the company in the country as it renews its commitment to 800 million consumers in Asia-Pacific.

Related topics: Formulation & Science, East Asia, China

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