ASA rules skin appearance in ad not due to algae-enriched products

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

ASA rules skin appearance in ad not due to algae-enriched products

Related tags: Asa, Penny Lane, BHA, marine algae

An ad by a UK anti-ageing firm does not mislead viewers into thinking the appearance of the founder’s skin was due to the featured products containing marine algae, says an advertising watchdog ruling.

In a rather unusual ruling, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) did not uphold the complaint, which believed the founder of My Perfect Cosmetics Company Penny Lane had used Botox to achieve her appearance.

ASA stressed they did not receive complaints about or investigate the claim about the efficacy of the skin treatment, which also contains skin-friendly Beta Hydroxy Acids.

“Clearcast said that they were not aware of any public accounts claiming that Penny Lane’s appearance was the result of surgical intervention and that in their view there was no direct or indirect suggestion that the appearance of Penny Lane’s skin was due to the products featured,”​ the ruling states.

“They said that Penny Lane had instead claimed the product was suitable for everyone, including herself, and that the ad drew attention to the product’s ingredients and the user trials.

“They said the ad highlighted consumer testimonials, and that Penny Lane’s personal beauty regime was irrelevant to the ad’s message.”

BHAs and marine algae

My Perfect Cosmetics Company, based in Rugby, Warwickshire and trading as ‘My Perfect Facial’ confirmed through their agency that they did not have any further comments on the complaint.

The TV ad for a home-use skin treatment product My Perfect Facial, seen on 27 August 2021, featured the product’s creator Penny Lane, who states, “When you look in the mirror do you see areas you'd like to improve?

The ad continues, “When you decide to take the steps to improve the appearance of your skin you have many options available to you.

“The salon, injections, maybe even surgery, but let me show you another option. My Perfect Facial is a salon-inspired three-step treatment … It contains ingredients proven to help improve the appearance of your skin, including BHAs and marine algae.”

The voiceover then stated, “Thousands of men and women have already discovered My Perfect Facial, just look at these amazing reviews”, while a number of five-star consumer reviews and testimonials appeared on screen.

“That was followed by several video clips of consumers talking positively about their experiences with the featured products.”

The voiceover then summarised, “My Perfect Facial can be added to any beauty regime. I created this treatment so real men and women, just like you and I [sic], could achieve better looking skin using proven ingredients in the comfort of their own home.”

Throughout the ad a number of “before”​ and “after”​ photos of consumers who had used the products were shown.

My Perfect Facial

In its assessment, ASA acknowledges that, as the creator of the product and through her appearance in the ad, some viewers might infer that Penny Lane used My Perfect Facial and some might also question whether it was solely responsible for the appearance of her skin.

They noted though that Penny Lane made no explicit claim in the ad to have used the products to achieve the appearance of her own skin, nor was she featured demonstrating or using the product in the ad.

“Because we considered that viewers would understand the main focus of the ad was on consumers’ experiences,”​ ASA concludes.

“[They] would understand the claims made in the ad as relating to the effects and purported benefits of the products generally, rather than on Penny Lane specifically.

“We concluded the ad had not misleadingly implied that the appearance of Penny Lane’s skin was due to the featured products and had therefore not breached the Code.”

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