The print advert claimed that by using the Tri-Aktiline Instant Deep Wrinkle Filler consumers would “Start to see your wrinkles disappear INSTANTLY!”.
Other claims appearing in the advert included: “After 4 weeks of continued use: 83 percent reported improvement in the appearance of lines. After 8 weeks of continued use: clinical studies measured a 45 percent visible reduction in wrinkle depth and length.”
According to Estée Lauder the claim was based on a clinical test on 25 women using photo imaging techniques. The company explained that Tri-Aktiline was formulated with polymers that act as fillers for the lines and wrinkles in the skin, hence the instantaneous effect.
The company submitted the study to the ASA. However, after seeking expert advice, the regulatory body concluded it was not sufficient to support the claim. Criticisms of the trial included the fact that it was non randomized, not blind and did not contain a control group.
Estée Lauder also conducted a consumer evaluation study on 50 women, concluding that ‘68% of participants reported that Tri-Aktiline was either extremely, very, or somewhat effective in immediately filling-in fine lines or wrinkles.’
According to the ASA, however, full method and results of the consumer study were not submitted so this cannot be taken as supporting evidence.
Estée Lauder has been asked by the ASA not to publish this advert again in its current form.
New guidelines should help
The case comes shortly after the publication of guidelines by the UK cosmetics trade association the CTPA with the aim of reducing the number of clashes between cosmetic companies and the regulatory authorities.
The new guidelines, published in October 2008, were written with input and advice from the ASA and aim to clarify the properties of a cosmetic, the types of claims that can be made and what evidence is needed to back these up.
The guidelines are available to download for free on the CTPA website.