Claims on tattooremovalcream.co.uk for a tattoo fading cream, seen on 26 September 2011, stated "The LazerCream system is probably one of the most simplest [sic], affordable and convenient of any tattoo removal method available ... We provide a simple painless non scarring lotion in [sic] which you rub onto the tattoo and within a matter of months you will start to see your tattoo fade ... How does this work? Well as you apply the cream on a daily basis, the cream gently breaks down the pigment within the tattoo causing it to fade away and eventually it will be barely visible to the eye ..." The website featured three photographs of the same tattoo labelled "Original", "4 Months" and "9 Months", which showed it in varying stages of degradation.
The complainant challenged whether the efficacy claims for the product were misleading and could be substantiated.
tattooremovalcream.co.uk provided the ASA with a summary of a clinical trial that tested the efficacy of the product in improving the appearance or removal of tattoos.
The ASA noted we had not seen the full clinical trial and were therefore unable to ascertain whether the trial was conducted robustly. We considered the summary, which was incomplete and did not include comprehensible details of how it was conducted, was not sufficient to support the efficacy claims for the product. Because we had not seen robust, scientific evidence, we concluded that the claims that the product could fade tattoos were misleading.
We also noted the claim "The Lazercream system is probably one of the most simplest [sic], affordable and convenient of any tattoo removal method available" implied that the product was capable of removing tattoos, which was in breach of a previous ASA adjudication against tattooremovalcream.co.uk. We told them to remove or amend the claim to comply with the previous adjudication.
The claims that the product could fade tattoos breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. and 3.4.2 3.4.2 the identity (for example, a trading name) and geographical address of the marketer and any other trader on whose behalf the marketer is acting (Misleading advertising), 3.7 3.7 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation. (Substantiation) and 3.11 3.11 Marketing communications must not mislead consumers by exaggerating the capability or performance of a product. (Exaggeration).
The claims must not appear again in their current form.