According to the magazine advert, the collagen and vitamin C supplement (NeoCell Super Collagen + Vitamin C), ‘helps replenish and stimulate new collagen’.
The text then states that if taken daily, the supplement can lead to ‘the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, Thick, glossy and beautiful hair Nourished, repaired and protected nails Youthful skin, stronger bones and controlled weight…’
Fellow supplement manufacturer Vitabiotics brought the complaint with the ASA challenging whether NeoCell could substantiate the claims about reducing fine lines and wrinkles and repairing nails.
In addition to specific claims about the product’s action, NeoCell also said that the product was the ‘World’s best selling natural beauty supplement’, which Vitabiotic similarly challenged.
When questioned by the ASA, NeoCell said the best selling statement was supposed to refer only to collagen supplements and suggested changing the wording accordingly.
However, the ASA argued that data provided by NeoCell did not support either the best selling claim for collagen supplements, or the efficacy claims.
According to the ASA, the scientific study data provided by the company was not clearly related to the product itself, and it was unclear whether the concentration of collagen was the same.
Furthermore, the ASA said the data provided by NeoCell to support the best selling claim did not mention sales information from other companies and therefore could not be used as proof.
For these reasons the ASA concluded that the advert should no longer appear in its current form.
This is not the first beauty supplement to come under the scrutiny of the ASA. Earlier this year, the organisation cracked down on an anti-acne supplement saying that its claims made out it was a medicine. The adverts for the product manufactured by Works With Water Nutraceuticals, proclaimed that the product could help get the better of spots.
The ASA required the word spots to be replaced with blemishes in order to remove the product from the medical domain.
Marketing such products is not likely to get any easier as the health claims legislation from the European Food Standards Authority gets under way. Under this regulation companies have to submit data to the European body to prove the claims they wish to make and the body is notoriously strict.
While it is not totally what types of cosmetic or beauty related claims are covered by the regulation, it is likely that those related to the healthy functioning of the skin and hair will be.