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Beauty giant slammed over anti-wrinkle claims

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Beauty giant slammed over anti-wrinkle claims
11:35 CEST+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.

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