A California class action lawsuit against Vogue International’s Organix brand could prove worrying for cosmetic brand holders, warns a law expert specializes in the cosmetics field.
According to Angela Diesch, an associate at California-based Greenberg Taurig believes the $6.5m settlement that followed the lawsuit could “have some worried about the direction in which litigation relating to ‘organic’ cosmetic claims is going.”
The lawsuit, Golloher, et al. vs. Todd Christopher International dba Vogue International, Vogue cites that Vogue used false and misleading marketing, advertising and labeling of the Organix skin and hair care brands by incorrectly labeling them as ‘organic’, in violation of California Law COPA 2003.
Mixing up the term ‘organic’ with a brand name is a no!
The plaintiff claimed in the lawsuit that Vogue used the terms ‘Organix’ and the word ‘Organic’ on the same labeling and advertising of the products in a misleading way.
But perhaps more seriously, the lawsuit also stressed that the ingredients used in the formulation of the Organix products in question were almost entirely composed of ingredients that are not organic.
According to current regulation standards, a cosmetic or personal care product must contain at least 70 percent organic content in order to make a valid claim as an organic-based product on labels or marketing and advertising campaigns.
Misleading claim costs Vogue International $6.5m
Vogue has agreed to make the $6.5m settlement, but the settlement still has to be approved as being fair and reasonable in another court hearing that is set for the end of September.
According to Diesch this is the first class action settlement for allegedly making false organic claims in a long time and is also the largest settlement ever seen in the US for this reason.
“Even more significant, however, is that it will also likely result in a new wave of lawsuits,” said Diesch, who added that company’s need to audit their labeling and formulas to ensure they are aligned.
“This settlement is evidence that even if something is not mandated by law, failure to comply with standards that are viewed by many as a requirement, even if they are generally voluntary in your industry, can result in a hefty pay out.”