National Advertising Division Recommends Amyris Clean Beauty Modify “Clinically-Proven” Claim for Biossance Squalane & Maine Algae Eye Cream

New York, NY – May 9, 2024 – BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division recommended, as part of its routine monitoring program, that Amyris Clean Beauty, Inc. modify the claim “Clinically-proven to quickly and visibly lift, firm and diminish the appearance of fine lines for a revitalized eye area” to reflect that the “quick” and “visible” results relate only to hydration and “the appearance of fine lines.” 

The National Advertising Division (NAD) also recommended that actress Reese Witherspoon’s status as a Biossance brand ambassador be clearly and conspicuously disclosed. NAD’s inquiry further focused on whether the format of the challenged advertising gives the impression of editorial content from InStyle and Hello! Magazines and when, in fact, they are advertisements. 


“Clinically-Proven” Claim 

As support for its claim “Clinically-proven to quickly and visibly lift, firm and diminish the appearance of fine lines for a revitalized eye area,” Amyris relied on a clinical study that included instrumental measurements of skin hydration and elasticity, digital photographs, and participant questionnaires. 

After reviewing the evidence, the National Advertising Division (NAD) determined the subjective portion of the questionnaire used in Amyris’ study could not support the portion of the “clinically-proven” claim that the product can “quickly and visibly” lift and firm and recommended that portion of the claim be discontinued. However, NAD found that other portions of the claim were supported, therefore recommended the claim be modified to reflect that the “quick” and “visible” results pertain only to hydration and “the appearance of fine lines.”

Clarifying Reese Witherspoon’s Ambassador Status, NAD noted that content featuring product claims and a paid endorsement such as, “This Reese Witherspoon-Approved Eye Cream Hydrates and Brightens,” should clearly and conspicuously disclose the material connection to the brand.


Editorial/Advertising Line Blurring

The National Advertising Division (NAD) noted the importance of providing consumers with disclosures about economic relationships between social media, online publications, digital publishers, and brands or products so consumers can distinguish ads from editorial content. When content is created due to affiliate relationships between a brand and digital publisher, the content is promotional and is advertising.

NAD cautioned Amyris to evaluate its business relationships with publishers and determine whether the content is advertising or editorial and, to the extent it is the former, that the claims are fully supported.


“#1 Best-Selling Eye Cream at Sephora” 

During the proceeding, Amyris’ “#1 Best-Selling eye cream at Sephora” claim was permanently discontinued. The National Advertising Division (NAD) noted that it will treat the permanently discontinued claim, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended its discontinuance and the advertiser agreed to comply. 

In its advertiser statement, Biossance stated that it “will comply with NAD’s recommendations” although it disagrees with certain aspects of the decision.

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive. Per NAD/NARB procedures, this release shall not be used for advertising or promotional purposes.


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