Life in Plastic

ROFL : Dubious Prince William Doll

Look, we know it’s hard to make celebrity dolls that look like the people they are supposed to represent.

But how hard is it to make a doll that looks like the picture of the doll you are using to flog the doll itself?

Very hard, if the subject of dollification is Prince William on his wedding day, it would seem.

Now the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has banned an advert for a particularly hideous porcelain Prince William doll which promised an ‘authentic likeness’ of the heir to the throne after a customer complained the product they were sent did not match the advert.

Take a look at the pictures below, showing what the ad promised and what they actually received, and we think you’ll agree the disgruntled customer was well within his rights.

The text promoting the Prince William Royal Bridegroom Porcelain Doll breathlessly stated: “The world's finest artisans have created an authentic likeness of the handsome Prince on his wedding day. Crafted of fine bisque porcelain and meticulously handpainted for exquisite realism …striking uniform recreated in exquisite detail … dashing red tunic … shining gold buttons and epaulets…embellished cuffs…royal blue sash, golden braid, a belt with a fringed tassel, medals and military insignia add drama and authenticity. Dark-coloured slacks with scarlet striping and a military cap of authentic design complete the ensemble ...".

The Bradford Exchange Ltd responded that they had sold a large number of the Prince William porcelain dolls and they had received no other complaints of this nature, and “were satisfied with the likeness”.

With regard to the scale of the jacket's cuffs, the company “stated that they thought these were an important feature of the doll and should therefore be prominent. They stressed that in their view when the doll's arms were placed by its side, as in the brochure image, it accurately reflected the product advertised.”

The ASA then asked for a sample of the doll, as seen in this picture.

When they had finished ROFLing, they produced the following brief report, “We noted that the ad featured numerous images of the doll, including one thumbnail image which was accompanied by the text "This doll is not a toy - it is a fine collectable intended for adult collectors ... Shown smaller than actual size". We considered it was therefore clear that this image, and several others in the brochure, were intended to represent the doll, and compared these with the sample we had received.

“We understood that the complainant had been particularly disappointed with the scale of the cuffs on the jacket and noted that these did appear to be slightly larger than those displayed in the image. We also noted that, although the limbs were posable, it was nevertheless difficult to place the doll's arms close to its sides in the manner shown in the ad. In addition, we considered that the face of the doll differed from that advertised in being slimmer and painted in a more vibrant, and less realistic, way. The hairline also appeared to be more bluntly defined, and the doll's hair was in some parts much longer than the close-cropped style shown in the ad.

“Because we considered that there were significant differences between the doll and the image in the ad, and because we understood that the two were intended to match, we concluded that the ad was not an accurate representation of the product and breached the Code.”

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The company has been ordered to change the ad.

As yet, the pics and copy on the website remain unchanged.