There has been alarming increase in misleading adverts by beauty companies. Recently the Advertising Standards Board of India, which is receiving more consumer complaints, held top beauty industries (Oriflame, Hindustan Lever among them) liable for misleading consumers. The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore has reported highest number of complaints in the last three years against the personal care companies. Several Singapore companies indulging in unsubstantiated claims have been asked to withdraw them.
In the latest US case, TruthinAdvertising.org, has charged Revlon, parent company of Almay, for its misleading advertisement “All American …. natural beauty look” which it claims is not accurate and violates “the FTC Made in US Standards”.
Wherever you happen to shop for personal care or makeup items, you are likely to find one or more item with claims that are misleading, false, or exaggerated to the point of absurdity. Cosmetics companies rely on the same claims again and again to sell new products. The regulating agencies lay down standards to prevent deceptive marketing campaigns, but despite the regulations, the companies are able to come up with new versions and campaigns that help them get away with unsubstantiated claims - claims that are deceptive or nearly worthless.
For example, in Europe, cosmetics claims are supposed to be backed by studies that prove the claims are valid. But, all that really happened in response to that was the creation of a new type of business: research companies. These companies,often run by dermatologists or even by universities, offer their services to perform ‘testing’ that they design specifically to prove whatever claims the cosmetics company make, for a fee, of course. The ‘testing’ most often does not lead to scientific published studies, so the results don't prove a thing, and are often nothing more than biased deception. However, the regulators are satisfied that "studies" have been carried out and the cosmetics companies are happy because the "study" shows what they want.
So, even at the cost of repetition, HerballyRadiant would like to remind consumers that
i)Expensive product does not mean better stuff. Spending more doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting higher quality.
ii)Sales people at the cosmetics store aren’t skin-care experts. They are trained to sell; they are not necessarily trained to understand cosmetic formulations, different types of skin and their characteristics. Selling cosmetics is of course a great career.
iii)Just one high-sounding ingredient or formulation is not the right answer for, say, anti-aging treatment. The customer has to make his/her own assessment about the efficacy of the product after reading the detailed ingredients.
iv)Unfortunately, the cosmetic sellers do not follow satisfactory ‘return policy’. It is, therefore, all the more necessary to satisfy themselves about the product, and lodge complaint with the agencies entrusted to look after consumers’ interests.