ASA Adjudication on L'Oreal (UK) Ltd
L'Oreal (UK) Ltd t/a
255 Hammersmith Road
23 November 2011
Magazine, National press
Health and beauty
Number of complaints:
A magazine ad for mascara pictured three female models and read “LANCÔME PARIS Dreaming of a Doll Lash effect? HYPNÔSE DOLL EYES DOLL LASH EFFECT MASCARA - WIDE-EYED LOOK Volumised, extended, lifted lash look”. Loreal
A member of the public and Jo Swinson MP questioned whether the effect shown on the eyelashes in the ad was misleading as they believed it exaggerated the effect of the product beyond what the ordinary consumer could achieve.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
L'Oréal (UK) Ltd trading as Lancôme Paris (Lancôme) said the image used was of styled and professionally photographed models, and provided a highly stylised and aspirational image. They said they had ensured the image used did not exaggerate the effect of the product beyond what the average consumer could achieve.
Lancôme said the product had been developed to provide volume, length and lift to the appearance of the lashes, creating a wide-eyed “doll eyes” look. They provided a report from laboratory testing which found that use of the product increased the appearance of eyelash curve, density, thickness, length and regularity. They also provided consumer testing scores for the product, which included the findings that consumers felt the product increased the appearance of eyelash length and volume, separated the lashes and made the eyes look bigger.
Lancôme said no lash inserts had been used. They said that post production techniques were used to add length to some individual lashes to create a uniform lash line effect and to tidy up the look of the lashes, which included replacing damaged or missing lashes, but said that volume (lash thickness) had not been added. They provided before and after laboratory pictures of testers wearing the product, saying the pictures showed the product volumised, extended and lifted the appearance of the lashes.
The ASA acknowledged that consumers expected images used in ads for beauty products to have used professional styling and photography. We further acknowledged that Lancôme had submitted the pictures from laboratory testing and consumer-use tests as evidence that the product could enhance the appearance of lash length and volume.
We understood that post production techniques had been used in the production of the image and noted that Lancôme had provided us with details of the techniques used. We considered that the length of the lashes shown in the ad did not go beyond likely consumer expectations of what was achievable using the product, and that the effect shown was in line with the tests on actual consumers. We noted Lancôme’s assurance that no lash inserts had been used, and that although damaged and missing lashes had been replaced using post production the thickness of the lashes had not been increased.
On the basis of the evidence provided, we concluded that Lancôme had demonstrated that the ad accurately illustrated what the product could achieve. We therefore concluded that the ad was not misleading.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1, 3.3 (Misleading advertising) and 3.11 (Exaggeration) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.