Finland updates cosmetic advertising regulations

By Louise Prance

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cosmetic manufacturers, Advertising

New regulations have been compiled in Finland that state that
cosmetic manufacturers must be able to substantiate any claims that
indicate scientific results following the use of product, stating
on what research or sample the result is based.

The Finnish Consumer Agency, in cooperation with the Finnish Cosmetic, Toiletry and Detergent Association has revised a new set of rules regarding cosmetic advertising - keeping up to date with the strong regulations in place in Europe. In order to protect consumers from misleading advertising promotions that make scientific claims that are unsupported, the association has sent out the new list of rules to all of its member organisations. As cosmetic manufacturers get increasingly diverse with product development, advertising campaigns are becoming more elaborate to try and lure in lucrative consumers with attractive and compelling marketing campaigns. As advertisers are increasing blurring the boundaries between boasting about a product, and untruthful or misleading claims, the Agency compiled the list to aid consumers' 'decision making' when choosing a cosmetics product. As the trend for celebrity-endorsed products rages on, manufacturers are increasingly using high profile stars to promote products. However, the Agency has stated that comments made by celebrities have to be backed up by audited research on other consumers. However, manufacturers are not required to submit research findings if a product is commented on in general terms, such as if a product is said to be 'nurturing or soft'. Likewise a product spokesperson can summise the way the product felt on them personally. Despite most of these rules being upstanding in most EU countries, many large multinational companies have come under scrutiny from regulatory bodies for misleading advertising campaigns in the past. Direct selling leader Avon was reprimanded by the UK Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) earlier this year over a misleading advertising campaign for an anti-aging face cream that claimed to be a face lift in a jar. A 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 advertisements were allowed to be reinstated following the relevant amendments and the company seeking advice from CAP Copy Advice team. Likewise, cosmetics giants Clinique were investigated by the ASA for displaying misleading content regarding an anti-ageing treatment. The advert for Repairwear stated that the cream enabled the skin to steer hearty cells to the base of wrinkles, thus triggering the skin's own natural collagen production. An expert at the ASA said that Clinique had not tested the product on consumer's skin and therefore the accuracy of the claim was not valid. The tests were made in a laboratory environment. The ASA instructed the company not to repeat the claim and to consult an advice team for guidance on future adverts. However, failure to comply with regulatory bodies regarding advertisement policies has resulted in many companies compromising its brand image and having to pay large fines.

Related topics: Market Trends, Colour Cosmetics, Skin Care

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