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Beauty giant slammed over anti-wrinkle claims

Beauty giant slammed over anti-wrinkle claims

Published: 17 Oct 2011 11:35 GMT+02:00
Updated: 17 Oct 2011 11:35 GMT+02:00

Beauty conglomerate L’Oréal continues to market its anti-wrinkle creams in Sweden with ”misleading information” according to Sweden's consumer watchdog, demanding the company be fined.

”Consumers must be able to trust advertising, even when it comes to beauty products. We want to put a stop to these kind of exaggerations,” said Gunnar Larsson of the Swedish Consumer Agency (Konsumentverket) in a statement.

In December last year, the Swedish consumer ombudsman (Konsumentombudsmannen – KO) defeated the beauty giant in a case brought before the Swedish Market Court (Marknadsdomstolen).

The court ruled that the company should not be allowed to claim that its beauty creams can reduce or remove wrinkles if they can't scientifically prove that the creams actually do so.

"The verdict is a great success and a guide for all companies that market beauty creams. It has now become clearer what one cannot claim either, in writing or through images in advertising," Agneta Broberg, deputy consumer ombudsman said in a statement at the time.

In addition, the court said it would fine L'Oréal Sweden 1 million kronor ($143,000) if it does not comply with the ruling and ordered L'Oréal to pay 226,400 kronor in KO's legal costs, of which 181,400 kronor concerned fees, in addition to interest from the date of the verdict until payment is made.

However, since then, the consumer agency has reviewed the company's adverts and found that the prohibited marketing is continuing online, they said in a statement on Monday.

According to the consumer agency four anti-wrinkle creams are marketed with claims that are in breach of the Market Court's ruling.

In the advertisement the company claims that ”The effective formula helps tightening the skin and 'fill out' the wrinkles from within”, that ”The skin is visibly firmer and the contours of the face more prominent, as if they had been re-sculpted” and that the cream ”Helps strengthening the fibroblasts to stimulate collagen and elastinfibre production in the skin. The skin becomes firmer and wrinkles are reduced”.

However, according to the agency, these claims are exaggerated, and the ombudsman is demanding that the company should be fined for continuing to act in breach of the ruling from last December.

”I am sincerely hoping that the district court will send a strong signal to L’Oréal that it is not OK to mislead consumers,” Larsson said.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:51 October 17, 2011 by StockholmSam
I agree. Go get 'em, ombudsman!
14:15 October 17, 2011 by Opinionfool
"Trust advertising" since when? Have Swedes never heard or read the English idiom "there are lies, damn lies, statistics, and then there is advertising"?

The late great English actor/musician Dudley Moore starred in a film called "Crazy People" in which he played an advertising exec who began to tell the truth about his clients' products. Advertising is not about telling truth or trust, rather the essence of advertising is, to use a phrase from another English man Alan Clarke an MP during the reign of Queen Margaret Thatcher, being "economical with the actualitie". It is all about omitting those things that are inconvenient and promoting those things that make it appear a product is better than its rivals.

Anti-wrinkle cream does nothing. If it has any positive effect it is the application of it to the face where the cream acts as a lubricant to prevent minor skin burns that would otherwise occur as the person massaged the wrinkled area.
15:32 October 17, 2011 by Svensksmith
I rubbed some of that stuff on my shar pei and now he looks like a seal.
18:34 October 17, 2011 by Opinionfool
@Bluebell2011

There's a small terminological inexactitude in your comment ;-) the quotes are from Englishmen. And it's only embarrassing if one believes the lie, put about by Englishmen, that Englishmen are pillars of moral rectitude. The higher in society that an Englishman reaches the more likely he is to express "terminological inexactitudes"; the last great English politician Winston Churchill certainly knew it, whereas today's crop don't care.

By the way, I am English.
20:00 October 17, 2011 by ctinej
Be thankful for the socialist govt of Sweden. I would trust advertising much more in Sweden than any other place in the world.

The world is full of fools, gullible idiots, upon which the capitalists prey. In America, perhaps 90% of cosmetic, health and beauty things sold are pure junk and not worth a cent.

In America, crime pays, with hundreds of Scammers making millions every day, and at worst, having to stop the scam after they are wealthy.
15:37 October 18, 2011 by cogito
@ctinej.

You get the biscuit for unhinged rant of the day.

L'Oreal is a French company, as I had thought everyone knew.
12:44 October 19, 2011 by Streja
cogito, is L'Oréal allowed to lie in France and in the US? Because that is the topic, not the original headquarters of the company mentioned.
20:13 October 21, 2011 by idealist707
If you want to improve the quality of your skin, dissolve arterial fibres, improve genesis of mitochrondria while ageing, then try

nattö, a japanese breakfast specialty. It contains vitamin PQQ (really) which helps the ageing skin. Try wikkying both for more info. All proven or conjecture, make your own judgement.

The skin is a practically imperneable barrier. Externally applied products hardly count, but exceptions exist.
05:57 October 22, 2011 by CaliforniaDreaming
Svenksmith......

I really appreciate your humor....
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