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Avon reprimanded over misleading ad campaign

By Louise Prance , 18-Jan-2007

Direct sales giants Avon has been reprimanded by the UK Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) over a misleading advertising campaign for an anti-aging face cream that claimed to be a 'face lift in a jar'.

The face cream, called ANew Clinical, was advertised in leading beauty magazines as being the 'home alternative to surgery' aimed at the female consumer with the desire for younger looking skin.

However, a recent ruling published by the ASA stated that the claims were unfounded and the company did not have any thorough scientific evidence to back up the claim, despite carrying out a consumer study.

 

The face cream targets the booming anti-aging skin care market, driven by the lucrative baby boomer generation striving for younger looking skin. However, the required retraction of the ad has been a set back for the company in promoting the product worldwide.

 

Avon made bold statements such as the product giving 'clinical dramatic results' and 'triple sonic technology'. However, these were challenged by the ASA following worries that claims that the cream was 'an exclusive technological skincare breakthrough' were misleading and incorrect.

 

The company revoked the appeal stating that they had supporting laboratory evidence that the skin creams did as suggested in its advertisements. It stated that the eight-week consumer test on 157 women affirmed the claims that the product gave 'tighter, firmer, more lifted skin in just three days'.

 

Test tube study results were disclosed by the company that showed how the cream would affect the key proteins in the human body, such as collagen and elastin.

 

However, after consulting an independent expert, the ASA told the company that the trial was not 'placebo' controlled and did not give a fair picture of results, as it was not pitched against a separate control group using an ordinary moisturiser.

 

The ASA stated, "We considered that readers would expect an alternative option to a face lift to have approximately equivalent results and that they would infer from the claim "an exclusive technological skincare breakthrough" that Thermafirm had an effect over and above that delivered by other moisturising products.

 

" Because we had not seen satisfactory evidence for those effects, we concluded that the claims were misleading" it said.

 

In order for the advertisements to be reinstated the ASA has stated that the company must first amend them and seek help from CAP Copy Advice team.

 

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