Saturday, August 22, 2015


The latest Medical News has two independent surveys by the Chapman University, expressing concern at the mislabeling of meat products. Separately, we are witnessing increasing number of mislabeling or deceptive labeling of skin care and cosmetic products.

The two surveys highlight that the mislabeling is most common in products purchased from online suppliers.  In the case of beauty products, the mislabeling, or deceptive claims, is more unethical especially while promising unbelievable results.

Past few months have seen rising number of complaints, especially for beauty products, received by agencies such as Advertising Standards Agency and the Better Business Bureau.

A recent opinion poll, based on a sample of cosmetics advertisements in Vogue, Glamour, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, InStyle and People StyleWatch, revealed that a mere 17% of respondents trusted the advertising industry, 39% were cynical toward advertising, 7% were deceptiveness-wary (they acknowledge advertising is somehow beneficial without trusting it) and 16% regarded advertising as deceptively harmful. Out of a sample of 621 ad claims, only 136 were found to follow fair marketing campaigns.

One usually finds no substantiation of the claims made in most of the beauty products, and those who back the claims with “scientific evidence” and “consumer testing”, often use questionable methodologies for their substantiation.  Some examples of cosmeceuticals include anti-aging or anti-wrinkle products, fat-reducing creams and facial scrubs for smoother, firmer, more evenly pigmented skin. Many products, questionably, claim to “eliminate” wrinkles, lines and spots.

We at Herbally Radiant have been highlighting such unethical marketing claims, more so in the case of web-based suppliers. In all labels and packaging of Herbally Radiant products, consumers are clearly explained the ingredients and specific benefits of products. This helps consumers to make well informed choice.

For scientific claims, the concrete evidence of ingredients, the scientific research processes used and lab results should be provided in laymen's terminology so as to help consumers understand such claims in the right context.

There are also grave concerns about environmental issues. It would be desirable to indicate clearly whatever environmental attributes might be germane to the product – for example, if the product was not pretested on animals prior to being distributed to consumers.

Additionally, research has also showed that luxury perception may differ depending on the visual art employed. Some of these visual arts are similar to the concept of “radical fashion” (i.e. that unlikely to be adapted in reality). Consumers need to understand the purpose of the images presented and the claims made in cosmetics advertisements.

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