ASA Adjudication on Winning Deals Ltd
Winning Deals Ltd
9th Floor, 8 Exchange Quay
3 October 2012
Number of complaints:
A national press ad, for HAIRAWAYTM, a hair removal product, was headed "Remove hair instantly, smoothly, easily, and leave skin soft and clear." Further text within the body copy stated " ... the rotating action of HAIRAWAYTM plucks each hair, ensuring complete and thorough removal from the root and helping prevent re-growth for weeks - even works on the finest shortest hairs."
The complainant, who had purchased the product, challenged whether the efficacy claims were misleading and could be substantiated.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Winning Deals said they had experienced faults with the advertised product and believed the complainant had received a faulty product. They believed the advertised product worked on different skin types and different areas of the body and submitted the results of a test they conducted on five participants in support of that. They said the product worked by removing the hair from the root, rather than trimming hair, and said the results were visible and could be gauged by touch. They also said they had many positive testimonials on the efficacy of the product. They also pointed out that epilators were advertised broadly and argued that that demonstrated that their product could be used by everyone on all parts of the body.
The ASA acknowledged Winning Deals' belief that the complainant received a faulty product. However, we understood from the complainant that they had been issued with a replacement product, after they were told that the first product was faulty, but found the replacement product worked no better than the first.
We noted Winning Deals provided a summary of the results from a functionality test. However, we were concerned that the test had been conducted on only five participants and that there had only been a single test on each area of the body. We were also concerned that the results of using the product were not measured objectively, but rather were based on the participant's perceived effect of the product. We also considered other advertising for epilators and testimonials relating to the efficacy of the product were not sufficient to substantiate the efficacy claims.
On that basis, we concluded that we had not seen sufficient evidence to substantiate the efficacy claims.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 3.11 (Exaggeration).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Winning Deals to ensure they held adequate substantiation to support efficacy claims in future.