The online beauty retailer has been strongly advised by the National Advertising Division to discontinue claims that its’ SmartLash Eyelash Enhancer is “dermatologist recommended” and promotes “Up to a 68% increase in the appearance of lash length.”
Mascara advertising has often gone under the microscope in recent years for claims that could not be substantiated or unrealistic imagery used; and this time Dermstore is the culprit...
The advertising at issue featured on the retailer's Facebook page included the above mentioned statements and evidence of an independent 56-day study which assessed the performance of Dermtore's product on 30 subjects ages 18-57.
In response to a self-assessment questionnaire, 67.13% of the subjects were also reported on the page to be satisfied with their eyelash length following treatment.
Despite taking all this into account, the advertising authority determined that the claim does not communicate a message of consumer satisfaction, but instead communicates the message that lash-length actually increased by as much as 68%.
Furthermore; NAD stated that the “dermatologist recommended” claim in this case was premised solely on the recommendation of one dermatologist based on her own personal experience with the advertiser’s product, and recommended that this claim be discontinued.
In response to the complaint, the retailer contended that its “Dermatologist Recommended” claim was supported by the approval of a Board Certified dermatologist who, after utilizing the advertiser’s product, observed an increase in eyelash length.
And that while it was disappointed with NAD’s findings, the retailer has "no plans to utilize these specific claims in future advertising and, in the spirit of self-regulation and commitment to the process, and will take the recommendation into consideration with respect to any future eyelash appearance and doctor-recommended claims."
To which NAD noted that advertising claims concerning recommendations by medical professionals “carry a great deal of weight with consumers and, therefore, must be supported by highly reliable evidence, namely well-conducted physician surveys."
And that the doctors participating in these surveys "should base their conclusions on their actual experience and what they do in their daily practice."
NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.