Are ads too misleading?

By Vox pop, brandrepublic.com, Wednesday, 08 August 2007 12:00AM

L'Oreal's Penelope Cruz ads for Telescopic Mascara, in which the actress wore false eyelashes, have put advertising in the firing line again over misleading claims, but what do the public think? Watch Brand Republic's latest vox pop video to find out.

The Telescopic Mascara ad, created by McCann-Erickson, claimed that the product could make lashes up to 60% longer, but after the single complaint was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority, L'Oreal was ordered to make clear in future ads that the "up to 60%" referred to the appearance of the lashes not to an actual extension in lash length.

The ASA also told the beauty group that it must include a disclaimer in future ads stating that they featured models wearing false eyelashes, after L'Oreal admitted that Penelope Cruz was wearing a few individual false lashes.

A L'Oreal spokeswoman said that a disclaimer had already been added to a Maybelline mascara ad and will be used in all future ads using false eyelashes.

L'Oreal previously had a complaint upheld about an anti-wrinkle cream ad, featuring Claudia Schiffer, which claimed to "counteract skin micro contractions" and "rapidly reduce wrinkles". The ASA ruled that L'Oreal had insufficient evidence to support these claims.

In the same week as the Telescopic Mascara complaint, Beiersdorf UK was ordered not to broadcast its DNAge Nivea Visage ad, created by TBWA\London, after the ASA upheld 11 complaints.

Viewers questioned the claims that the product increased cell renewal and could help protect your DNA from cell damage. Beiersdorf UK provided several scientific studies in support of its claims but the ASA noted that all the trials were carried out on either the arm, upper arm or inner forearm which it understood was not a good model for facial skin, the area which DNAge cream would be applied.

Other beauty companies that have fallen foul of the advertising watchdog include Avon Cosmetics over its Dead Sea Detox Patches advert that claimed to detoxify skin over night. The ad claimed that the patches, which are placed on the soles of the feet overnight, "catch the toxins at their furthest point from your heart -- your feet …Purifying your body in this way means big benefits for your skin and your wellbeing in general".

The ASA concluded that the ad was misleading and said it was concerned that Avon had not provided evidence to support the claim that the patches aided detoxification or that the ingredients were present in sufficient quantities to achieve the claimed effects.

This article was first published on brandrepublic.com

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