Tag: advertising

Busted we win! Unilever for breach of warranty, violation of consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices pays up!

realhairtruth.comI love it, I love it. Busted for whatever the lawyers could get, they got in full from Unilever!. According to documents filed Friday in Illinois federal court, Unilever United States Inc. has agreed to pay $10.2 million to settle a class action lawsuit accusing it of marketing and selling a Suave-brand hair treatment that causes significant hair loss.  The Suave Keratin class action lawsuit was initially filed in August 2012 on behalf of a class of consumers who purchased or used Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion 30-Day Smoothing Kit, a product that was recalled in May 2012. The plaintiffs alleged that the product included dangerous ingredients that caused injuries, and that Unilever failed to properly inform consumers about the proper way to use the product to avoid injury.  During this time frame we at the “Real Hair Truth/Jotovi Designs Inc.” watched closely all the litigations that went forward with this class action lawsuit.  And passed along any and all emails we received from consumers to the appropriate law firms representing the clients involved.  Jotovi Designs Inc. was also used as a avenue for any and all complaints within the professional beauty industry, working hand in hand with consumers and professionals directing them to the proper law firms involved with the plaintiffs.  Now trust me my friends that is just penny’s to them not even nickels or dimes at all. They are a large corporation will it hurt them, “NO” not at all.  These large manufacturers are always in court. Look at L’Oreal, the mother of all lawsuits does it hurt them “No”. They always find a way to push the envelope, this is just a part of there corporate lives. No biggy to them.  The consumer and professional are the ones who get hurt. And trust me the so-called professional beauty industry does not care to inform there industry of these deviate practices. They will actually support these company’s. Basically because they need there money to survive. They cannot do it on there own.

On the Unilever website the company claims that. “Our brands play a major part in helping us achieve our sustainable living aims of helping more than a billion people improve their health and well-being; halving the environmental footprint of our products and sourcing 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably”.  Really?

Unilever is a major force in the beauty/cosmetics industry with household names as, Dove, Axe, Lux, Pond’s, Sunsilk, Tresemme, and who could also forget the beauty industry TONI&GUY that you can buy anywhere and beauty professionals will hail the product. Knowing full well they have no exclusive of the product what so ever. But they will sell it in there salons. And buy there tickets to there hair shows supporting TONI&GUY. But that’s another story in itself. The Suave Keratin class action lawsuit asserted claims against Unilever for breach of warranty, violation of consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices statutes and unjust enrichment arising from the manufacture, advertising and sale of the Suave Keratin Infusion smoothing kit. According to the plaintiffs’ motion supporting preliminary approval of the class action settlement, between 225,000 and 260,000 smoothing kits were sold.

Under the terms of the proposed Suave Keratin class action settlement, Unilever will pay $10 million to establish two settlement funds: a reimbursement fund and a personal injury fund. The $250,000 reimbursement fund will be available to Class Members who purchased a Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion 30-Day Smoothing Kit, providing a $10 refund for the past purchase of the product.

The class action settlement injury fund will provide relief to Class Members who suffered bodily injuries to their hair or scalp as a result of using the Suave keratin treatment. Class Members who incurred expenses for hair treatment but who no longer have receipts for their expenditures will be eligible to receive up to $40 per claimant. Class Members who have receipts from their treatments will be eligible to receive up to $800 per claimant for their expenses. Class Members who suffered significant bodily injury to their hair or scalp will be eligible to receive up to $25,000 per claim.

real hair truth.comDuring the filming of my next documentary “The Beautiful Lies”, I received numerous emails for consumers who used this product. Writing to me the causes, and health hazards they experienced with this product.

” Dear Mr. Kellner, I too used this product and fried my hair…4 haircuts later still having issues with dry hair and itchy scalp. Any ideas on what I need to do to promote good hair health?”

” Dear Joseph Kellner,I found this email when reading about the horrible suave keratin product. I haven’t developed any health issues that I know of but my hair continues to fall out. I have had at least 10-12 inches cut off in the last 5-6 months and my hair used to be thick and is now just so thin and horrible feeling. Anything that can be done?”

“I bought the treatment on 3/23/12 from Wal-Mart and I used it a week later.  I have previously used Sally’s brand about 8 months prior so I knew what I was doing and I read the directions correctly.  Not even a week after I used the Suave brand, my hair got considerably lighter, which has never happened and my hair started to fall out.  Even now, every time I was my hair, more of it breaks and I am losing it by the handfuls.  I only use the treatments because after I had my daughter, my hair got wavy and thicker only in the back and I wanted an easier way to maintain my hair.  The treatment I used before worked wonders and seeing as Sauvé’s was a whole lot cheaper, I took a chance.  I know it is not supposed to make it straight, but it is supposed to make it easier to straighten, and this did not do as it was supposed to.  I saw the recall at my local CVS and wanted to know what I am supposed to do from here?  Thanks for your time.”

“I used this kit twice the first time my tightly curled hair was soft shiny the second time at first  I didn’t see any change in my then a couple of weeks after my hair started coming out by the handfuls it took me three years to get the growth I had now all Ivan do is cut it all off and do intensive conditioning treatments .something should be done to suave for the damage it has done to my hair.”

“I to had a bad experience with this product. My hairdresser called their 1800 # to let them know the damage that their product had done to my hair. It’s taken 6 months to get it back to almost normal. This has cost me a lot of money. Another dissatisfied customer”.

“I just used this product a few days ago and my hair is also fried. And when I went to the store to try to find a deep renewing conditioner the product was still on the shelf! I don’t know what to do with my hair at this point. I’ve been trying to nurse it back to life with coconut oil and mayonnaise but it still isn’t enough. Help?!”

Help it has been 4 months for my hair and it continues to break off and is fried.  It seems like it is getting worse not better.  I have spent over $2000 and yet I am still struggling.  No one is responding to my letters Unilever, Suave or Kroger. I tried to join a class action lawsuit with Wasserman, Comden, Casselman& Esensten but they have not contacted me back yet either.  The $12 is not sufficient and my current professional stylist believes it will be at least another year before my hair is back to normal if ever.  I can not afford this!! Is there any hope we will get some resolve from the company.  Please someone help!! This is truly a nightmare and not only has it ruined my hair but my personal life, my professional life and my personal well-being have all been severely compromised. Any information that you might have regarding where I might go next would be greatly appreciated.”

The Suave Keratin settlement will also resolve several similar class action lawsuits that were filed in Kentucky and California.

The Suave Keratin class action settlement agreement was reached after nearly 18 months of litigation and lengthy mediation sessions with former U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen. According to the court documents, the plaintiffs believe that the settlement agreement is “fair, reasonable, adequate and in the best interests of the Named Plaintiffs and the putative Settlement Class. Unilever, denying wrongdoing of any nature and without admitting liability, has agreed to the settlement terms in order to address claims brought by consumers of Unilever products, and in order to avoid the burdens of continuing discovery expenses and litigation.”

The plaintiffs are represented by Marvin A. Miller, Lori A. Fanning and Andrew Szot of Miller Law LLC; Peter Safirstein, Christopher S. Polaszek and Elizabeth S. Metcalf of Morgan & Morgan PC; and Jana Eisinger of Law Office of Jana Eisinger PLLC.

The Suave Keratin Infusion Class Action Lawsuit is Sidney Reid, et al. v. Unilever United States Inc., et al., Case No. 1:12-cv-06058, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Real Hair Truth – L’Oreal Paris’s Pervasive and Misleading National Marketing Campaign

The search for the elusive waters of the “Fountain of Youth” has tempted those seeking to restore youth and beauty for ages. Indeed, as the story goes, in 1513, the great explorer Juan Ponce De Leon searched high and low for the “Fountain of Youth” – only to find Florida instead. In the 1800s, “snake oil” salesmen infamously ranged the West selling tonics that claimed to cure every ill, including signs of aging. Today, the search for a youth potion continues and, like modern-day snake oil salesmen. .

L’Oreal USA, Inc. and or and also including L’Oreal Paris Brand Division,  consumers’ fundamental fear of aging and their eternal hope that products exist that can eliminate the signs of aging and effectively turn back time. In fact, L’Oreal profits handsomely by making misleading claims that the L’Oreal Paris Youth Code line of wrinkle creams, specifically Youth Code Serum Intense, Youth Code Eye Cream, and Youth Code Day/Night Cream, (collectively “Youth Code” or “Youth Code Products”) have age-negating effects on human skin.

For example, among other affirmations, L’Oreal Paris specifically promises the following age-negating benefits of using Youth Code: Immediate wrinkle reduction, Skin’s natural regeneration powers are boosted, Breakthrough GenActiv Technology helps stimulate recovery, Boosts skin’s natural powers of regeneration, Skin regains the qualities of young skin, Lines and wrinkles are visibly reduced, Boosts cell turnover. 

 And L’Oreal promises consumers that Youth Code is able to provide such age-negating benefits because of L’Oreal’s claimed scientific breakthroughs and discovery including, but not limited to, the following:

After 10 years of research L’Oreal scientists unlock the code of skin’s youth by discovering a specific set of genes¹ that are responsible for skin’s natural powers of regeneration.

¹in-vivo study

An innovation derived from gene science

L’Oreal’s breakthrough GenActiv Technology™

²Patented in Germany, Spain, France, UK, Italy, and Japan; US Pat. Pending

5. Unfortunately, these claims (and the others detailed below) are false, deceptive, and misleading.

6. As explained more fully herein, L’Oreal Paris has made, and continues to make, deceptive and misleading claims and promises to consumers about the efficacy of Youth Code in a pervasive, nation-wide marketing scheme that confuses and misleads consumers about the true nature of the product. In reality, the Youth Code products do not live up to the claims made by L’Oreal Paris.

7. As a result, L’Oreal Paris’s marketing and advertising campaign is the same as that of the quintessential snake-oil salesman – L’Oreal Paris dupes consumers with false and misleading promises of results it knows it cannot deliver, and does so with one goal in mind – reaping enormous profits.

8. Indeed, the only reason a consumer would purchase Youth Code sold by L’Oreal Paris instead of lower-priced moisturizers, which are readily available, is to obtain the unique results that L’Oreal Paris promises. Upon information and belief, other, lower-priced brands contain substantially the same ingredients or provide substantially the same results as those touted by L’Oreal Paris – the only difference being the false and misleading efficacy claims made by L’Oreal Paris to deceive consumers into paying significantly more for their higher priced Youth Code.

9. A direct result of this pervasive and deceptive marketing campaign is that consumers across the country, including Plaintiffs and the proposed Class, International Patent²

²Patented in Germany, Spain, France, UK, Italy, and Japan; US Pat. Pending

5. Unfortunately, these claims (and the others detailed below) are false, deceptive, and misleading.

6. As explained more fully herein, L’Oreal Paris has made, and continues to make, deceptive and misleading claims and promises to consumers about the efficacy of Youth Code in a pervasive, nation-wide marketing scheme that confuses and misleads consumers about the true nature of the product. In reality, the Youth Code products do not live up to the claims made by L’Oreal Paris.

7. As a result, L’Oreal Paris’s marketing and advertising campaign is the same as that of the quintessential snake-oil salesman – L’Oreal Paris dupes consumers with false and misleading promises of results it knows it cannot deliver, and does so with one goal in mind – reaping enormous profits.

8. Indeed, the only reason a consumer would purchase Youth Code sold by L’Oreal Paris instead of lower-priced moisturizers, which are readily available, is to obtain the unique results that L’Oreal Paris promises. Upon information and belief, other, lower-priced brands contain substantially the same ingredients or provide substantially the same results as those touted by L’Oreal Paris – the only difference being the false and misleading efficacy claims made by L’Oreal Paris to deceive consumers into paying significantly more for their higher priced Youth Code. A direct result of this pervasive and deceptive marketing campaign is that consumers across the country, including Plaintiffs and the proposed Class,purchased skin-care products for higher prices that do not provide the results promised.

10. Moreover, because the Youth Code Products do not provide the promised results, Plaintiffs and the proposed Class did not receive what they paid for.

11. L’Oreal Paris’s deceptive statements about the efficacy of Youth Code are equally applicable to each of the Youth Code Products because those deceptive and misleading statements appear uniformly on all Youth Code product advertisements and packaging.

12. Plaintiffs seek relief in this action individually and as a class action on behalf of all purchasers in the United States of at least one of the Youth Code Products (“the Class”) at any time from the date of product launch to the present (the “Class Period”) for violation of consumer protections laws including Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93A, Sections 349 and 350 of the New York General Business Laws and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. § 58:8-1.

So basically they are suing Loreal for Deception. L’Oreal Paris’s pervasive false and misleading national marketing campaign includes the dissemination of deceptive advertising through a variety of mediums including, but not limited to, internet, television, and print media. Many of the same deceptive and misleading statements are also printed on the Youth Code product boxes. A central theme of L’Oreal Paris’s deceptive and misleading national marketing campaign, which permeates throughout its print, television and web-based advertisements and product literature, is that Youth Code, and the results promised by L’Oreal Paris, are the result of vigorous scientific research. In fact, while such claims of scientific research and discovery provide L’Oreal Paris with an increased level of credibility among unsuspecting consumers, and therefore increased sales, the scientific “discoveries” are simply part and parcel of L’Oreal Paris’s deceptive and misleading advertising campaign. Despite L’Oreal’s admission in its Code of Business Ethics (2007) that “overselling our products by making inflated or exaggerated claims for them is dishonest,” L’Oreal nonetheless turns a blind eye to its own policy for the sake of increased profits. By making specific promises regarding the efficacy of Youth Code, L’Oreal Paris’s advertising transcends the realm of mere puffery and becomes actionable as deceptive and misleading.

Regardless of where Plaintiffs and the Class purchased the Youth Code products (i.e., on-line, in a drugstore, or from third-party retailers), they were exposed to L’Oreal Paris’s pervasive, deceptive and misleading advertising messages and material omissions regarding the efficacy promises of Youth Code. Indeed, no reasonable consumer would purchase a $24.99 jar of wrinkle cream without some “knowledge” of what the product claims to do.

 L’Oreal Paris’s advertising and marketing for Youth Code is misleading in several ways. L’Oreal Paris claims that the Youth Code products are protected by an “INTERNATIONAL PATENT.” This patent claim is found on the product boxes themselves and is printed directly below the claim “YOUTH GENERATING DISCOVERY – Innovation derived from GENE Science.” The proximity of the patent claim to the “YOUTH GENERATING DISCOVERY” claim misleadingly conveys to consumers that the patent somehow involves the purported “10 years of research” leading to the “discover[y]” of a “specific set of genes.” However, upon information and belief, none of the actual patents listed on any of the Youth Code products relate to any such gene innovation or the discovery of a “specific set of genes that are responsible for the skin’s natural powers of regeneration.” Instead, upon information and belief, the patents identified on the Youth Code packaging relate to: “novel compounds having an improved power to moisturize skin and/or hair”; “a new family of thickening or gelling polymers making it possible to obtain stable thickened cosmetic and dermatological formulations”; “a novel family of thickening and/or gelling polymers which makes it possible to obtain a very large number of cosmetic and dermatological formulations which may contain supports of different nature”; and a “photostable cosmetic composition intended for protecting the skin against UV-radiation.” Falsely touting that its research has led to a discovery of a specific set of genes that is protected by patents is part and parcel of L’Oreal Paris’s deceptive scheme to convince consumers that its products will provide unique skin regeneration benefits based on the promised and patented “gene science” discovery and are therefore worth their price tag. L’Oreal Paris heavily markets its Youth Code in print media, including the placing of advertisements in such widely circulated magazines as Glamour, Vogue, and Vanity Fair, among others. L’Oreal Paris’s print media advertising contains the same false and deceptive claims as its other forms of advertising detailed herein. L’Oreal Paris touts the benefits of its skin-care products using models and celebrity spokespersons who claim to exemplify the results of the products. What L’Oreal Paris fails to disclose is that the images of the celebrities it uses are airbrushed, digitized, embellished, “Photo-shopped” or otherwise altered and, therefore, contrary to the claims made by Lancôme, cannot and do not illustrate the effectiveness of its products. In sum, the images used by L’Oreal Paris to sell Youth Code have nothing to do with the effectiveness of the products themselves.

 julia roberts lancome Fake images banned for misleading consumers.

Most recently, the National Advertising Division in the United States has taken a stance against the use of Photoshop in cosmetics advertising, noting that “advertising self-regulatory authorities recognize the need to avoid photoshopping in cosmetics advertisements where there is a clear exaggeration of potential product benefits.”

L’Oreal Paris uses statistics to mislead consumers into believing that the promised results are virtually guaranteed. For example, in the above print advertisement, L’Oreal Paris claims that “95% of women saw results.**” Any reasonable consumer would associate that claim with the foregoing specific efficacy promises that “One Drop instantly improves skin quality; One Week skin looks visibly younger; and One Month skin acts dramatically younger.*” However, in virtually unreadable, microscopically small print at the very bottom of the advertisement, L’Oreal Paris clarifies the results and promises. The single asterisk indicates that after use of the product for one month, “*Skin is firmer and cell renewal increases.” However, underneath that, L’Oreal Paris attempts to clarify that the results that 95% of women saw were not for firmer skin, cell renewal or visibly younger skin – but rather for “One or more of these benefits: feels restored, rested, smoothness.” This nonsensical (and nearly invisible) disclaimer has nothing to do with the claims that Youth Code makes as to its gene science, gene research and skin regenerating powers in the primary marketing message. Thus, the attempted disclaimer does nothing to cure the misleading nature of the use of the statistical “95%” claim. L’Oreal Paris’s false and misleading claims are the crux of its marketing campaign for Youth Code, therefore leading to increased sales and profits for L’Oreal Paris that it otherwise would not have enjoyed without resorting to such deception. L’Oreal Paris’s promises of specific results and scientific discoveries that enable such results cannot be defended as mere puffery. Indeed, L’Oreal admits in its 2011 annual report that the “close interaction between science and marketing . . . is a key advantage to L’Oreal’s innovation approach.” L’Oreal Paris relies on such a “close interaction” because it knows that consumers are more likely to believe its empty promises, and therefore more likely to purchase it products, when indicia of scientific research are present. To perpetuate its deceptive scheme, L’Oreal Paris has a short product cycle, releasing new products every couple of years based upon some new “research” or purported “scientific discovery.” L’Oreal Paris does so in order to falsely tout its new products via a re-imagined marketing campaign in order to keep driving sales and profits that would otherwise stagnate once consumers used the products and realized that they do not perform as promised. This scheme is evident by the fact that L’Oreal Paris discontinues sales and production of its older products once new products are introduced to the market, despite the fact that the claims made on the discontinued products are purportedly designed based on amazing scientific breakthroughs. For example, L’Oreal Paris discontinued its Wrinkle Defense product, for which it made the following promises: combats the emergence of new lines and surface wrinkles, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, skin-resiliency booster, L’Oreal Paris discontinued this product from the market despite its promised efficacy. L’Oreal Paris’s removal of the purportedly effective product, Wrinkle Defense, from the market demonstrates that L’Oreal Paris’s promised discoveries and benefits are illusory and nothing more than clever marketing. Basically they are always in court. Remember read the labels on your products everyone. If you cannot pronounce it don’t use it!

 

False Advertising Information A Guide for The Beauty Industry!

 

Make sure that when you are advertising your brand that you know the rules of advertising.

  • Advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive;
  • Advertisers must have evidence to back up their claims; and
  • Advertisements cannot be unfair.

What makes an advertisement deceptive?

  • Is likely to mislead consumers acting reasonably under the circumstances; and
  • Is “material” – that is, important to a consumer’s decision to buy or use the product.

 Airbrushing, CSR and False Advertising: L’Oreal Ad Banned

Whether a business is an established global brand or a start-up, effective advertising and marketing can be the key to its success. All businesses have a legal responsibility to ensure that their advertising is truthful and not deceptive. And no matter where an ad appears – on the Internet, on the radio or television, in newspapers and magazines, in the mail, or on billboards or buses – the same truth-in-advertising standard applies. So when you develop a beauty product be very careful on what you say on the labeling, the advertising because you could get investigated.

What makes an advertisement unfair?

  • it causes or is likely to cause substantial consumer injury which a consumer could not reasonably avoid; and
  • it is not outweighed by the benefit to consumers.

What kind of evidence must a company have to support the claims in its ads?

Before a company runs an ad, it has to have a “reasonable basis” for the claims. A “reasonable basis” means objective evidence that supports the claim. The kind of evidence depends on the claim. At a minimum, an advertiser must have the level of evidence that it says it has. For example, the statement “Two out of three doctors recommend ABC Pain Reliever” must be supported by a reliable survey to that effect. If the ad isn’t specific, the FTC looks at several factors to determine what level of proof is necessary, including what experts in the field think is needed to support the claim. In most cases, ads that make health or safety claims must be supported by “competent and reliable scientific evidence” – tests, studies, or other scientific evidence that has been evaluated by people qualified to review it. In addition, any tests or studies must be conducted using methods that experts in the field accept as accurate.

What penalties can be imposed against a company that runs a false or deceptive ad?

  • Cease and desist orders. These legally-binding orders require companies to stop running the deceptive ad or engaging in the deceptive practice, to have substantiation for claims in future ads, to report periodically to FTC staff about the substantiation they have for claims in new ads, and to pay a fine of $16,000 per day per ad if the company violates the law in the future.
  • Civil penalties, consumer redress and other monetary remedies. Civil penalties range from thousands of dollars to millions of dollars, depending on the nature of the violation. Sometimes advertisers have been ordered to give full or partial refunds to all consumers who bought the product.
  • Corrective advertising, disclosures and other informational remedies. Advertisers have been required to take out new ads to correct the misinformation conveyed in the original ad, notify purchasers about deceptive claims in ads, include specific disclosures in future ads, or provide other information to consumers.
  • Or you end up in the next REAL HAIR TRUTH DOCUMENTARY