An Instagram post for Radox, posted on 14 June 2018, featured a picture of a bottle of Radox shower gel which featured the claim “100% NATURE INSPIRED FRAGRANCE”.
Below that on the bottle there was a prominent image of the Radox logo, a leaf, berries and text that stated “FEEL DETOXED acai berry scent & clay”. The packaging image was accompanied by the text “TIME FOR ME #RADOXREADY”. The post stated “Start your day right with Feel Detoxed … A little self-care in the morning goes a long way … #RadoxReady”.
IssuePZ Cussons (UK), who believed the claim “100% NATURE INSPIRED FRAGRANCE” implied the fragrance was derived only from natural products which they understood was not the case, challenged whether the ad was misleading. This was particularly in the context of the claim for their own shower gels, in near identical font and layout, to be “100% NATURAL FRAGRANCE”, with which they said consumers would be familiar.
Unilever UK Ltd said that Radox was a brand that had been inspired by nature and that all the fragrances in the products were inspired by ingredients found in nature. They said that the post did not refer to or imply that the product was natural or contained natural fragrance, and they believed consumers would be unlikely to understand from the ad that Radox was a natural brand or expect its products to contain natural ingredients.
With regards to the claim “100% NATURE INSPIRED FRAGRANCE”, Unilever said consumers would understand from the prominent use of the word “inspired” that the product’s scent was inspired by natural scents, as the source of the inspiration or idea for it, rather than that the product’s ingredients occurred in nature. Unilever said that consumers would be likely to interpret the use of “100%” to be synonymous with “completely” or “entirely” and would not view the claim scientifically. They said that consumers would most likely understand the claim to be puffery rather than an objective claim about the ingredients.
Taken altogether the claim “100% NATURE INSPIRED FRAGRANCE” would be read by the consumer to mean that the fragrance was completely inspired by natural scents, but not that the product contained natural ingredients.
The ASA noted that the complainant considered that the claim on the bottle shown in the ad and its presentation was almost identical to that appearing on their own products. We considered that although the wording on the bottle may be similar to, and call to mind, that of the complainant, consumers would not necessarily interpret the claims made on the bottles to mean the same thing.
We noted that the products shown in the ad included a logo at the top of the bottle with an image of leaves, the text “100% NATURE INSPIRED FRAGRANCE”, and a further image of the leaves and berries. We considered that consumers would understand that claim to mean that the scent portrayed in the ad was not in itself the product of natural ingredients, but something manufactured to smell like something found in nature (in this case, the berries depicted on the bottle). We therefore concluded that the ad was not misleading.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.