UK advertising authority upholds cosmetic claims

Related tags Estée lauder Advertising

The UK Advertising Standards Authority has clamped down on a number
of claims made by major cosmetics companies in the past few weeks.
The organisation upheld complaints over product claims by both
Proctor & Gamble and Estee Lauder because they were too
far-fetched, reports Simon Pitman.

Objections were made against Proctor & Gamble's Pro-V shampoo and conditioner over claims that the product could make hair up to ten times stronger. Likewise complaints were lodged against an advertising campaign to promote Estee Lauder's Body Performance Anti-Cellulite Visible Contouring Serum.

The watchdog said P&G's​ claim that its Pantene Pro-V shampoo could make hair "up to ten to ten times stronger", had not been backed up by adequate scientific evidence.

It said it objected to claims the product could replenish key amino acids, which had not been backed up by adequate scientific data either.

The authority also investigated and upheld five complaints about a television advertisement campaign, broadcast on independent channels in the UK, for the Estee Lauder's anti-cellulite serum. After a formal scientific investigation by the ASA, the authority said that the claims made in the advert required very high standards of evidence which had not been proven.

The ASA​has officially upheld the ruling. P&G has accepted the ruling and the advertisement is now due to be changed as a result.

Referring to Estee Lauder's​ skin firming serum, ASA claimed that the skin tightening tests had only been conducted on the back of hands - a claim the company is vigorously denying.

Estee Lauder's product claim reads: "This multi-action serum with our exclusive thermogenic complex and Asian herbals melts away the fatty look of cellulite. Refirms and tightens to help keep the dimpled look from coming back. Consumer testing shows 83 per cent of women saw a reduction in the appearance of cellulite."

Further to this there is an additional footnote that reads: "Based on a 46-person test over a four-week period."

One particular complaint about the product made by Carter Products, of Kent, southeast England, stating that the complaints were misleading and not backed up by sufficient scientific data.In answer to this objection Estee Lauder said that it had carried out extensive testing on various parts of the body where cellulite was a common problem.

In answers to the claims made in the advertising campaign, Estee Lauder said that the product was a cosmetic treatment that reduced the appearance of cellulite. They argued that consumers would expect a cosmetic product to affect the appearance of cellulite, not cellulite itself.

To back this evidence the advertisers submitted the result of a 12-week double-blind placebo controlled study. A subsequent questionnaire on individuals testing the product showed that 72 per cent and 78 per cent of the individuals testing the product noticed an improvement in the appearance of their cellulite.

After taking expert advice, the ASA upheld the complaint on the grounds that consumers would interpret the advertising claims to mean that the product targeted cellulite affected skin and had more than just a moisturising affect.

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