The ASA and Beauty Claims
I am so thankful that we have the ASA keeping a weather eye over the beauty industry – I get a little update every week, and amongst the usual suspects there are occasionally some surprises in there. It really was a surprise to find NEOM Candles falling foul of the regulatory body, but it’s not as simple as you might think. Basically, NEOM are no longer allowed to call their candles organic, for the very simple reason that there is no organic standard for candle wax. This state of affairs is more indicative of the various organic bodies than it is of NEOM, although you have to ask whether, knowing there is no standard, any candle should be labelled organic.
NEOM products are certified with the Soil Association at 70% or above so the issue is only about the candles, and no other products, which are and can be labelled organic. The candles are 100% natural. NEOM say that they’re disappointed by the ruling because the candles meet the generally agreed definition of an organic product. It is only because organic certification bodies do not certify candles that there is nobody to officially verify the claims. The organic bodies really need to sort this out, for the sake of the brands as well as consumers.
It’s not so long ago that Dior Mascara and L’Oreal Revitalift fell foul of the agency. I’m hoping that it hasn’t escaped anybody’s notice that Rodial once again have had an on-line ad banned by the ASA because they couldn’t supply evidence to back up their claims – I think it’s their 8th time. NEOM could supply a raft of evidence, but because no regulatory body could back it up, they’ve ended up with a slap on the wrist.
So, it shows that no two ASA rulings are the same and that beauty is a quagmire of inconsistency. Personally, I’d be finding some kind of level of ‘wrist slaps’ ranging from a tap to a punch. And, I know who I’d be punching. And before the Rodial crew jump all over this post, the last time I posted, one of their senior employees labelled me Boring Bullish Bitch on Twitter but lost his sense of humour when called out on it, and lovely Mrs Rodial made fun of the question of Size Zero cream with this charmer: MrsRodial1:08pm via TweetList Pro “We should do a money back guarantee if @rodialskincare #SizeZero doesn’t turn you into anorexic withing 10 days of applying #lolz#bbloggers“. (Even the day before yesterday, I was tweeted by a Rodial rep to ‘Bore Off’ for retweeting the ASA story that’s in all the papers.) It pretty much went on like that for an entire evening but I’ll spare you the gory details. All I can say is that NEOM wouldn’t do that, Dior wouldn’t do that and L’Oreal wouldn’t do that.