ASA calls for Clarins ads to be withdrawn

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Mobile phone

Skincare giant Clarins has been asked to withdraw print adverts for
a product that claimed to protect the user from 'damaging'
electromagnetic waves, further denting consumer confidence in the
beauty industry.

Clarins had claimed that electromagnetic waves from modern devices damaged the skin and that its anti-pollution Expertise 3P skincare spray provided effective protection.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ADA) said the France-based company could not provide sufficient evidence for these claims.

Furthermore, statements such as 'If electromagnetic waves can penetrate walls, imagine what they can do to your skin,' were adjudged to constitute an unwarranted appeal to readers' fear.

The ADA was unimpressed by the scientific studies sent to it by Clarins, concluding that they were not robust enough.

In particular the ADA cited the fact that the experiments were carried out in labs rather than on living organisms and that they were based on unrealistic exposure to mobile phones of six and 24 hours straight.

Another unjustified aspect of the ads was the reference to a host of electromagnetic wave omitting electronic devices when the studies were only based on mobile phone exposure.

Other faults in the research include exaggeration.

The ASA said: "We also understood that mobile phones would age, if anything, only a very small area of the body's skin, around the ear, and were also likely to affect only one side of the face.

"Yet there was no evidence of such ageing effects on consumers, despite mobile phones having been popular for some time."

In conclusion, the ASA said Clarins had breached the industry's code of practice and must not make claims without having robust scientific evidence to back them up.

The skincare firm was also told not to make an undue appeal to consumers' fear.

The ruling follows an upheld complaint against L'Oreal last month when adverts for its Telescopic mascara were adjudged to be misleading.

The world's largest cosmetics firm claimed that the mascara could make lashes 60 per cent longer when the evidence showed that it only made them seem longer.

Furthermore, in the TV ads Penelope Cruz was wearing fake eyelashes thereby giving a misleading impression of the mascara's true effects.

Consumer confidence in the claims made by cosmetic companies may be damaged by these cases, especially as they implicate some of the biggest players in the industry.

Related topics Skin Care Color Cosmetics

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