Summary of council decision:
Two issues were investigated, one of which was Not upheld and the other was Upheld.
A website and a video on YouTube, promoting the July ‘Beauty Treasures’ subscription box from Glossybox.
a. A page on www.glossybox.co.uk, seen in July 2021 stated, “Full Reveal: All Of The Products In Our ‘Beauty Treasures’ July GLOSSYBOX!” … Every Glossy will get the first four products listed below, and then one of the following five others, all based on your Beauty Profile”. Further text stated “Your fifth product will be one of the below five fabulous must haves”. One of the products listed as one of the five possibilities was an “Illamasqua Beyond Powder” which the ad stated was “worth an amazing £34”.
b. The YouTube video from the influencer Willow Biggs, dated 4 July 2021, was labelled as a “paid promotion”. The ad featured Miss Biggs unboxing the July beauty box and showing the Illamasqua highlighter.
Five complainants, who understood that only limited numbers of the Illamasqua highlighter were made available, to a small selection of consumers such as new customers and those who received PR influencer boxes, challenged whether the ads were misleading:
1. In relation to ad (a); and
2. In relation to ad (b).
1. & 2. The Hut.com Ltd t/a Glossybox confirmed that in accordance with ad (a) on their website, the July 2021 Glossybox included the first four products listed in the ad and one of the other five products listed that followed. Glossybox confirmed that it was not the case that only new customers and influencers (who received PR boxes) received a July Box including the Illamasqua Beyond Powder highlighter. They provided data to show that around one in four of the total number of boxes distributed contained the highlighter.
Glossybox explained that it had not been their intention to give the impression that consumers were certain to receive the highlighter product. They said that moving forward they would ensure that they made a reasonable estimate of the likely demand of an advertised product; and also that they would ensure that consumers had sufficient information, which was presented clearly in the ad to make an informed decision on whether or not to participate.
1. Not upheld
The ASA noted that the ad stated, “Every Glossy will get the first four products listed below, and then one of the following five others”. Further text also stated, “Your fifth product will be one of the below five fabulous must haves”, with the Illamasqua highlighter being the first product in the list proceeding that text. We considered, in that context, consumers would understand that they would receive one of the products from the options listed thereafter, which might include the highlighter.
We understood that around one in four of the total boxes distributed received the Illamasqua highlighter, and therefore we were satisfied that the claims did not exaggerate the level of availability of the product in question, and that the reality of the offer was in line with consumer expectations of the claim.
We therefore concluded that the ad was not misleading.
On that point, we investigated ad (a) under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading) 3.10 (Qualification) 3.27 3.28.3 (Availability), but did not find it in breach.
We acknowledged and welcomed Glossybox’s intention to ensure that future ads provided sufficient information for consumers to allow them to make an informed decision.
We noted that at 3 minutes 54 seconds, the vlog showed Ms Briggs opening the box, stating, “Now I do know this month there are a couple of variation items, I will put all the details in the box below” but no further mention of what items may or may not be not be available was made. At 4 minutes 3 seconds, we noted that the first item picked from the box was the Illamasqua highlighter in OMG and Ms Briggs spoke about the product for 50 seconds, finishing by stating, “I really love it, it’s such a beautiful creamy formula, very wearable. Great whatever skin tone, really lovely. Yeah, and OMG, full size”.
While we understood that some text had been included in the description box, we considered that it was unclear. It stated “Our July 'Beauty Treasures' box features 4 full-size products and 1 deluxe sample”. The ad then listed five products, including the Illamasqua highlighter before stating “or Daily Concepts reusable rounds, Eyeko Waterproof Mascara, Illamasqua Hydra Veil Primer, Illamasqua Mascara, or Sports FX Wipe the day away”.
We considered that neither from the video nor the description box was it sufficiently clear to consumers, that availability of the highlighter was not guaranteed and that it might be substituted for one of four other products, which varied in value from £34 to just £2.99. Because the conditions around availability were not made sufficiently clear, we therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading) 3.10 (Qualification) 3.27 3.28.3 (Availability).
Ad (b) must not appear again in the form complained of. We told The Hut.com Ltd t/a Glossybox that when using influencer marketing to ensure they communicated all significant information related to the availability of products.