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Coty could face court as class action is proposed over misleading mascara claims

By Andrew MCDOUGALL , 06-Dec-2012
Last updated the 06-Dec-2012 at 16:35 GMT

Beauty behemoth Coty has found itself in a spot of bother after being hit with a proposed class action lawsuit over misleading claims made about its Rimmel mascara.

The action has been placed in California federal court alleging that Coty’s Rimmel London Lash Accelerator mascara is misleading to consumers as it falsely claims it enhances eyelash growth.

‘False claims’

According to Law 360, the class action alleges that Coty deceives consumers by advertising that Rimmel London Lash Accelerator mascara with Grow-Lash Complex lengthens eyelashes by 37 percent within one month, and, with ‘regular use,’ increases their number.

The complainant, in this case Yanira Algarin, claims that the mascara does not physically grow or multiply eyelashes and certainly not within the 30-day timeframe advertised.

The case will be considered in the San Diego office by presiding judge John A. Houston, with Jan M. Adler as referring judge.

Coty could not respond at this time as the case is ongoing.

Lawsuit trend

It is not the first time in recent months that a big cosmetics player has found itself embroiled in a courtroom scenario.

Direct seller Avon found itself in hot water just over a month ago after a US law firm filed a class action lawsuit over claims made about its anti-aging products; which have been deemed ‘misleading’.

National law firm Baron and Budd filed the lawsuit against Avon Products for misrepresenting these products to consumers; addressing the advertising surrounding the Anew product line.

Two months ago, a Texas-based firm also filed a complaint against consumer goods firm Unilever with regards to alleged false, deceptive and misleading claims in connection with its Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion 30 Day Smoothing Kit.

The filing featured statements from 14 women who say they experienced hair loss to the point of "visible bald spots, terrible breakage, discoloration… some of them had injury or burning to the scalp” as a result of using the kit.

And across the pond, whilst Dior did not quite make it to court, it did get punished by a UK watchdog for exaggerating the effects of its mascara.

Despite a host of information presented by the French fashion house, the Advertising Standards Authority banned advertising for Dior Show mascara stating it did not have sufficient evidence to support the claims.

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