The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) confirmed yesterday that they are investigating advertising for Nurofen, which is owned by Reckitt Benckiser, on the grounds some claims could have misled consumers.
The UK's advertising watchdog has said it is following up on 12 complaints about a television advert for Nurofen Express, examining whether the advert was misleading because it implied the medication could directly target muscles in the head.
Claims that the product provides faster relief from headaches than standard paracetamol or ibuprofen are also being questioned.
A spokesperson for the ASA said: "This is a complex case and our investigation is ongoing. The advertiser is providing evidence to substantiate its claims, we’re carefully assessing that and we’ll publish our findings in due course."
The investigation started in March after complaints were received in February. However, the ASA confirmed that the investigation was taking place after it was approached by the media for comment after an Australian Federal Court yesterday ordered that many Nurofen products be pulled from the shelves.
The Australian court stated that Reckitt Benckiser had misled consumers by marketing identical products for different types of pain, sometimes for almost double the price of the standard medication.
The ASA stated that they are not able to comment specifically on the Australian case, as it relates to matters falling outside of their jurisdiction.
Stating that it was aware of the ongoing investigation, Nurofen said:
All TV advertising claims made in the UK are supported by robust evidence and approved by the relevant independent external agencies. The current claim in question went through this normal process, was substantiated by clinical data and received full sign off by the agencies. If there is a complaint, there is a clear and transparent procedure that the relevant agency will follow.