ASA clamps down on misleading ‘anti-ageing’ claims

- Last updated on GMT

ASA clamps down on misleading ‘anti-ageing’ claims
The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled against online retailer gogroopie.com, after it ruled advertisements for ‘Skin Chemists Apple Stem Cell Serum’ products as being misleading.

A promotion, seen on the website stated "Our Hollywood Must Have for only £19.95, Skin Chemists Apple Stem Cell Serum. The latest craze in anti-ageing revolutionary ingredient derived from rare Swiss apples, start the fight against wrinkles today."

Whilst further text stated; "Trying to keep up with the latest and best beauty treatments is enough to give anyone wrinkles, so here at Go Groopie we decided to not only hunt down the secret product that has hit the beauty world by storm, but give you a fantastic deal too!”

Complaint

The Authority received complaints challenging whether the stated and implied claims that the product could reverse the signs of ageing and had rejuvenating properties, were misleading and could be substantiated;  as well as the claim that the treatment was a favourite with celebrities.

And that the references to "stem cells" were misleading, because he believed consumers would wrongly associate the self-renewal properties of human or animal stem cells, with the product.

In response, Go Groopie stated that the ad only "Claimed to reverse the signs of ageing​", not that those results were guaranteed.

It further provided a screenshot to the ASA of the merchant's website which highlighted that both women had used Skin Chemists Apple Stem Cell serum, and an article from the Daily Mail from 2009 which also claimed that they used the product.

And added that two online articles from Swissinfo.ch and "Life Extensions magazine​", both published in 2009, confirmed that stem cells were found within all multicellular organisms, besides that of humans and animals and that "Stem cells from the Uttwiler Spatlauber apple​" were being used in skin products.

Upheld

On taking into account the complaints and the brand's response to them, the Authority ruled that it considered consumers reading the ad would understand the claims to mean that if they used the product it would have an anti-ageing effect.

"In addition, we considered that even if the claim 'reverse signs of ageing' had appeared in isolation, consumers would understand it to be an efficacy claim reflecting the results that could be achieved if they used the product."

The ASA also noted that in the Daily Mail article provided, a Professor of Botany at Oxford University was quoted as expressing scepticism regarding the claimed efficacy of the product.

"Therefore, in the absence of any evidence, consisting of clinical trials conducted on people, confirming that the product did have an anti-ageing effect on users' skin, we considered that the claims were misleading and in breach of the Code​," it concluded.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety, Skin Care

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