Avon given go ahead to appeal decision to modify advertising due to fair trade misrepresentation

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Fair trade Cosmetics Fair trade usa

The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) has given permission for Avon to appeal the National Advertising Division’s (NAD) recommendation that the cosmetic company modify its advertising for its mark. brand.

NARB is an advertising industry peer group, part of the industry’s system of self-regulation, in which ad-hoc panels are selected to adjudicate NAD cases that are not completely resolved.

Recommendation for appeal

NAD had previously recommended that Avon change its current advertising for its mark. personal care products to assure that images used in connection with a fair-trade seal do not overstate the benefits associated with purchasing the brand’s products that contain certified fair trade ingredients.

Under NARB rules, an advertiser has the automatic right to appeal an NAD decision, but a challenger may appeal NAD finding only if the appeal is approved by the NARB chairman.

Following the initial NAD inquiry both the NAD decision and advertiser’s response will be included in the next case report, issued later this year.

Elsewhere in the appeals world

In a seperate case, NARB has also agreed to allow Dr Bronner to appeal a recent NAD decision made also relating to fair trade certifications.

The maker of personal care products and cosmetics had challenged the truthfulness and accuracy of third party certifier Fair Trade USA’s, previously named Transfair USA, licensed use of its ‘Fair Trade Certified’ labels.

Dr Bronner believes that because Fair Trade USA receives the same licensing fee on both minimal and majority fair trade content products, it does not distinguish between them, which fails the fair trade ‘mission’.

Mixed messages

The issue before NAD was the message conveyed by the use of the "Fair Trade Certified Ingredients" and "Fair Trade Certified Ingredient-Specific" seals on cosmetic and personal care products.

NAD has recommended that Fair Trade USA/ TransFair not only explain the plain meaning of fair trade, but inform consumers that the personal care industry is subject to a separate policy, which only requires 2-5 percent fair trade ingredients in order to display one of the two composite product seals.

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