Real Life

Acne ads cause heartache

Acne is something a lot of teenagers experience - however TV commercials often add to the problem

My teenage daughter has bad acne. We are doing everything we possibly can with medication but it’s a matter of time playing its part. My daughter’s a bit self-conscious but fine. What makes me really angry are the TV ads selling anti-acne products. They subtly create an image of kids with spots being both unattractive and unlikely to be popular with others, especially with the opposite sex. When the ads come on, I see my daughter watching and my heart goes out to her. What must she think when she sees them? I spend my time bolstering her confidence just to have these heartless ads destroy it. However unpleasant bad acne itself may be, teenagers with it often have wonderful personalities. I’d like to see these ads taken off air.

I agree with you, possibly because I had bad spots when I was a teenager. I’m not sure the ads should be removed altogether, but they should definitely be scrutinised to ensure they cause no embarrassment or hurt to young sufferers at a very sensitive time in their lives. What irritates me about these ads is the way they pretend to sympathise with the plight of young acne sufferers, whereas they’re just trying to make money out of them, and cause distress to many along the way. Why don’t you try making a formal complaint to the Advertising Standards Complaints Board? They’re in the phone book, at least in Wellington. Your daughter’s doctor or specialist might even support you with a letter. Don’t expect to win – but who knows, you might!

Do you have a consumer question for Kevin? Email [email protected], or post to Weekly Consumer, PO Box 90119, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142

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