In a TV advert for the Anew Clinical Advanced Dermabrasion System Avon had invited consumers to “dial up the intensity every two weeks” and watch “fine lines fade”.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) took issue with these claims and after consideration ordered Avon not to broadcast the advert again in its current form.
In defense Avon had presented evidence to the ASA but the watchdog ruled that it was not robust enough to justify the claims made.
The ASA said the ad implied that the product could remove lines and not just reduce the appearance of wrinkles and that a cumulative or persistent effect could be observed.
Two tests were submitted to the ASA but the expert consulted to evaluate the methodology and results judged them both to be inadequate.
The first was carried out on the arm skin which the expert did not believe was a good model for facial skin and the second, a home-use test, was neither double-blind nor controlled.
In addition to these concerns surrounding the design of the tests, the expert also said the actual reported change in the appearance of fine lines was in his view very slight.
As for the “dialing up” claim, the ASA noted that the product mix could be controlled by changing the aperture to make it more abrasive but felt that the advert gave the impression that the product had a cumulative and persistent effect on the skin. It found no scientific evidence to justify this impression.
A number of large beauty companies have found themselves caught in the net of the ASA for making misleading beauty claims including Johnson & Johnson and Unilever in recent months.