The advertisement depicted two children seated at a piano. When one of them sneezed, a concerned mother reached for her can of Dettol and sprayed the keys.
One of the first to hear alarm bells was Yamaha, which immediately contacted the MIA, says the Association’s Paul McManus.
“Obviously, nothing should be sprayed on a piano’s keyboard and the worry was that people seeing this could reach for a can to spray on their electric keyboards too - and that is an even more worrying prospect!”.
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The MIA’s first port of call was the Advertising Standards Authority which, McManus says, reacted with impressive speed, as apparently did Dettoll’s owners, Reckitt Benckiser, when contacted directly. The company explained that the idea its product might do harm simply hadn’t occurred to it and agreed not to screen the offending commercial again, pending tests to find out whether, in fact, Dettol did actually represent a hazard to piano owners.
“Obviously, the concern was that retailers and manufacturers might suddenly find themselves faced with a stream of costly failures - or worse - so it is good news that Reckitt Benckiser reacted so positively and so swiftly,” McManus said.
MI Pro understands that Yamaha is currently conducting product tests with one of its keyboard specialists to determine how safe, or otherwise, the product might be, if used in this way.