L’Oréal Anti Aging Youth Code Advertising Claims Deceptive, FTC Charges

L'Oreal False Advertising

L’Oréal and the Federal Trade Commission reached a proposed settlement that they would end advertising claims on two anti-wrinkle products.

L’Oréal is charged of unfair or deceptive acts or practices, and the making of false advertisements, in or affecting commerce in violation of Sections 5(a) and 12 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

In a statement Monday, the FTC said the proposed pact settles allegations that L’Oréal advertising campaigns made false and unsubstantiated claims that Youth Code from the L’Oréal Paris brand and Génifique from the Lancome brand provided anti-aging benefits by targeting users’ genes.

L’Oréal claimed that its Génifique products were “clinically proven” to boost genes’ activity and stimulate the production of youth proteins that would cause “visibly younger skin in just 7 days. The company sold Génifique nationwide since February 2009, charging between $60 and $132 per container.

The company also claimed in both English and Spanish language advertisements for Youth Code products that it is a “new era of skincare: gene science,” and that consumers could “crack the code to younger acting skin.”

“It would be nice if cosmetics could alter our genes and turn back time. But L’Oréal couldn’t support these claims,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

L’Oreal pointed out that the proposed agreement imposed no monetary penalties, as well as stating that L’Oreal USA did not admit any improper advertising practices.

“The safety, quality and effectiveness of the company’s products were never in question,” said L’Oreal USA spokeswoman Kristina Schake in a statement.

“Going forward, L’Oreal USA will continue to serve its customers through industry-leading research, scientific innovation and responsible advertising,” she added.

The FTC said it will decide on making the proposed consent order final after publishing it in the Federal Register for public comment for 30 days until July 30.

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