BBB National Programs Archive

Revlon Says it has Voluntarily, Permanently Discontinued Claims for ‘Colorstay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel;’ Claims at Issue Challenged by Coty

New York, NY – Nov. 22, 2016 – Revlon Consumer Products Corporation has said it has voluntarily and permanently discontinued challenged express and implied advertising claims made in print, broadcast and internet advertising for Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel. The claims at issue were challenged before the National Advertising Division by Coty, Inc., the maker of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel brand nail products, although Revlon stated that its reasons for discontinuing the claims were unrelated to Coty’s challenge.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Coty took issue with the advertiser’s testing and asserted that the testing failed to substantiate Revlon’s claims. Further, Coty asserted that the product performance claim made by Revlon’s “before and after photographs” – that after three days of wear Miracle Gel nails crack significantly, whereas Gel Envy nails do not crack at all – do not accurately show what consumers using either party’s product actually experience.

Coty also contended that while the Gel Envy advertisements included a modest disclaimer that the nails featured are “visually enhanced,” the disclaimer was fleeting or unclear and contradicted the main message of the advertising.

Coty took issue with the following express claim:

“We challenged the leading competitor [Miracle Gel] – and look how they cracked under pressure. After 3 days of wear. Visually enhanced.”

Coty also questioned whether Revlon’s advertising implied that:

  • After properly applying Miracle Gel and wearing the product for 3 days under normal conditions (1) Miracle Gel nails incur significant cracking that can be easily observed by the naked eye; (2) Gel Envy nails incur no cracking that can be observed by the naked eye or even with visual enhancement; and (3) nails look nearly identical to when Gel Envy was first applied.
  • After properly applying Miracle Gel and wearing the product for 3 days under normal conditions, all nails will look like the nail depicted above left (with and without visual enhancement). In contrast, after properly applying Miracle Gel and wearing the product for 3 days under normal conditions, all of your nails will look like the nail depicted above right (with and without visual enhancement).
  • Revlon has reliable testing that proves all of the Gel Envy advertisement claims.
  • None of the participants in any Gel Envy testing experienced “cracking” that looks like the nail depicted above left (the Miracle Gel nail) when using Gel Envy.
  • The results depicted in the Gel Envy advertising would be typical for all consumers of Miracle Gel and Gel Envy products, respectively, regardless of shade, color, application, length of usage, environmental, or other control factors.

Revlon rejected Coty’s contention that the photographs were subject to “extreme manipulations and alterations,” and explained that the producer superimposed a photograph on a model’s hand, cleaned up the cuticle edge of the image, and conformed the color to that of the model’s nails.  Revlon explained that the nails were coated with lipstick so as to photographically capture the stress fractures and stated that the color change made to the nail is irrelevant.

Revlon argued that the visual accurately represented real-life results of its testing and asserted that the percentage of stress fractures observed after three days of wear statistically significantly favored Gel Envy, and that its disclaimer was entirely appropriate.

Notwithstanding its assertions, during the course of the proceeding, the advertiser informed NAD in writing that, for reasons wholly unrelated to this challenge, the express claims challenged in this proceeding – and any implied claims allegedly derived therefrom – have been permanently discontinued.

NAD noted its appreciation for the advertiser’s voluntary commitment to permanently discontinue the claims. NAD, in reliance on the advertiser’s representation that the claims have been permanently discontinued, did not review the claims on their merits.  However, the voluntarily discontinued claims will be treated, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended their discontinuance and the advertiser agreed to comply.

Note: A recommendation by NAD to modify or discontinue a claim is not a finding of wrongdoing and an advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance or modification of claims should not be construed as an admission of impropriety. It is the policy of NAD not to endorse any company, product, or service. Decisions finding that advertising claims have been substantiated should not be construed as endorsements.