BBB National Programs Archive
NAD Finds P&G Can Support Mascara Performance Claims, But Recommends Company Disclose Lash Inserts in Main Message of Ad or Discontinue Use of Enhancements; Company Agrees to Do So
New York, NY – Sept. 27, 2013 – The National Advertising Division has determined that Procter & Gamble Company could support express claims for the company’s Covergirl “Clump Crusher” mascara.
However, NAD recommended that P&G either discontinue the use of artificial lash enhancements in images used in mascara advertisements that make quantified performance claims or alert consumers – in the main message of the ad – that the images depict the volume achieved when CC Mascara is used together with lash inserts. The company has agreed to do so.
NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
The advertising at issue featured the picture of a model whose eyelash volume had been increased through the use of lash inserts before being coated in Clump Crusher mascara, with a small disclaimer at the bottom of the page that stated “lashes styled with lash inserts.”
Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD determined that P&G could support express advertising claims that included:
- “200% more volume”
- “The new curved brush crushes clumps as it builds volume!”
NAD also considered the implied claims that:
- Consumers who use Clump Crusher mascara would get lashes like those depicted in the advertisement.
- The lashes depicted in the photograph were achieved solely by using Clump Crusher mascara.
As an initial matter, NAD noted that the undisputed main claim in the print advertisement was that CC Mascara could increase the volume of lashes to 200 percent their normal volume.
However, the volume that consumers saw in the photograph, NAD noted, was not from the mascara alone and had been artificially enhanced by the addition of false lashes. In two other cases involving mascara advertising, NAD determined that when an advertiser made a quantified performance claim, but then artificially enhanced the picture of the model’s lashes either digitally or physically, the picture served as a false product demonstration.
Although P&G provided a reasonable basis for the express clam that CC Mascara would increase the volume of consumers’ lashes, it is well-established that visual product demonstrations in advertisements must be truthful and accurate and cannot be artificially enhanced.
NAD recommended that P&G either discontinue the use of artificial lash enhancements in images used in mascara advertisements that make quantified performance claims or alert consumers – in the main message of the ad – that the images depict the volume achieved when CC Mascara is used together with lash inserts.
P&G, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company finds “NAD’s recommendations regarding the use of lash inserts reasonable, particularly that the cosmetics industry may continue to use lash inserts in mascara advertising featuring performance claims provided their use is disclosed as part of the main message of the advertising. P&G has always been a leader in this area, i.e., disclosing the use of lash inserts, and as a strong supporter of the self-regulatory process, P&G will take NAD’s recommendations into account in future advertising.”