California-based skin care manufacturer Murad has been advised to modify claims made in its adverts for the Environmental Shield products so that the message is clearer for consumers.
The National Advertising Division launched an enquiry into claims after issues were raised over the product line’s adverts conveying an unsupported message that the Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum product itself provides a protective barrier against environmental harm to the skin.
Murad argues that its Environmental Shield claim is a trademarked phrase that has appeared on its product packaging since 1997 and refers to a line of products containing approximately 11 stock-keeping units, or SKUs.
The company also states that the products are designed to be used together and include a sunscreen and a moisturizer that act as a ‘shield’ against environmental harms such as sunburn and skin desiccation.
However, the advertising watchdog says challenged ad does not refer to the Environmental Shield line of products or explain that the use of the Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum is Part Two of a three-step ‘Environmental Shield’ Day Regimen.
Thus, NAD recommended the advertising should make clear that the products-in-question are part of a multi-step regimen and that on their own the Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum cannot provide the same protection claims.
Murad, in its advertiser's statement, said the company "whole-heartedly supports the NAD's advertising self-regulation program and... will take NAD's suggestions into consideration in its future marketing materials for this product.”
Originally, NAD was also looking into claims in the same ad that stated the products were: "Clinically proven to fade spots by 33% in just one week".
These claims were discontinued by Murad, despite the company fully supporting them, for reasons unrelated to NAD's inquiry, and were done so prior to the commencement of NAD's inquiry.
As a result, NAD administratively closed its inquiry into the "clinically proven" claim.