Certain claims made by the company in a print advertisement for its Olay Regenerist 30 second wrinkle filler could not be substantiated, according to the UK’s Advertising Standards Agency (ASA).
Within the advert, P&G claimed the product ‘instantly reduces the appearance of wrinkles and lasts throughout the day’.
Additional text stated: “The advanced micro-bead formula fills and smoothes the appearance of lines and deep wrinkles to give precise results all day. So if you have 30 seconds, you can have younger looking skin.”
According to the ASA, it was the claim that effects lasted throughout the day that could not be substantiated.
P&G said the claims were based on consumer feedback and testing conducted by a technical expert.
Pack instructions on the product inform the consumer that for best results the instant wrinkle filler should be used in conjunction with Olay Regenerist Daily Regenerating Serum used as a daily moisturiser.
It was on the basis of this combined use that the consumer rated the wrinkle filler and P&G made the ‘all-day’ claim.
According to the ASA, however, this was not made clear in the claims in the advert.
“Because we had not seen evidence that the wrinkle filler alone was effective at reducing the appearance of wrinkles throughout the day, we considered that the claim had not been substantiated,” concluded the ASA.
Nevertheless, the ASA did agree that the second claim was valid, as it believed P&G had successfully demonstrated the product had a physical effect by depositing powder into the wrinkle and therefore filling it in with immediate visible effects.
P&G said the advert will not reappear in its present form and has agreed to be more specific in future ads about the basis of product claims based on consumer studies.
Anti-ageing claims often under attack
P&G’s Olay product is the latest in a long line of anti-ageing products to come under attack for misleading advertising claims.
L’Oreal is being taken to the Market Court (Swedish court solely dealing with cases relating to marketing claims) in Sweden over claims made about two anti-ageing products form its Lancôme and Vichy ranges.
The KO, a government body that can defend the interests of the consumer against companies in court, claims that marketing for L’Oreal’s Lancôme High Resolution and Vichy LiftActiv Pro are not backed up by scientific evidence.
According to KO, the Lancome adverts claim the product can smooth out wrinkles by up to 70 per cent.
In the case of Vichy, the KO said that L’Oreal claims the product is ‘the source of healthy skin’ and can reduce wrinkles by up to 43 per cent.
Such strong marketing claims, which border on those made for pharmaceutical products, should be backed up by strong evidence, according to the KO, which has not in this case been provided.