The Majority Of Claims On Cosmetic Ads Are Crap, Says New Research

Set of various cosmetics isolated on white background
SHARE
THIS



Many ads for cosmetic brands contain some form of statement on the ad, such as ‘scientifically proven’, ‘award-winning’ and ‘miracle’, however new research suggests 82 per cent of these claims are pure rubbish.

The study comes from the Journal of Global Fashion Marketing: Bridging Fashion and Marketing, entitled Deception in cosmetics advertising: Examining cosmetics advertising claims in fashion magazine ads. It was authored by Jie G. Fowler, Timothy H. Reisenwitz and Les Carlson.

The research looked at a total of 757 ads for cosmectic products in well-known global magazines such as marie claire, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle.

It focused on six specific claims many of them make; superiority claims such as ‘award-winning product’, scientific claims ‘clinically proven’, stand-alone performance claim like ‘your skin feels softer’, endorsement claim such as ‘recommended by dermatologists’, environmental claim like ‘no animal testing’ and subjective claims ‘visibly clearer skin’.

Of the total 757 products looked at within the six categories, only 136 (18 per cent) of them were deemed acceptable.

Some 316 were considered too vague, 130 had omissions from the claims that would have made them testable for truthfulness, and 175 were just outrightly false.

The research however found that many consumers are already well aware of the potentially false claims on beauty product ads, which leads to consumers already feeling defensive about the glossy ads when they see them.

For advertisers, the authors suggested the need to tackle “distrustful consumers” in the marketplace. One way proposed was to use more of the endorsement claims which appeared to be the most positively associated claim on beauty products. For example, using claims such as ‘recommended by dermatologists’ – of course, provided that the product actually is recommended.

“Deception not only undermines the credibility of advertising as a whole by making consumers defensive, but also produces damaging effects for the advertisers who are directly responsible for making the claims,” the authors note in the conclusion.

“The study makes it clear that marketers have a powerful self-interest in upholding the truth in cosmetics advertising.”

Latest News

Sugar Agency Wins Fairfax’s ‘Ads Are Better Rich’ Competition For 2018
  • Advertising
  • Media

Sugar Agency Wins Fairfax’s ‘Ads Are Better Rich’ Competition For 2018

Digital player Sugar Agency has been crowned the winner of this year’s ‘Ads Are Better Rich’ competition by Fairfax Media. Launched by Fairfax’s chief revenue officer, Matt Rowley, at the company’s 2018 Agency Symposium, the challenge aims to encourage agencies to push creative boundaries by using rich media formats to develop a campaign that promotes their agency. […]

Former APN Outdoor Sales Boss Launches OOH Consultancy
  • Advertising
  • Media

Former APN Outdoor Sales Boss Launches OOH Consultancy

An ex-sales director from APN Outdoor is trying his hand at consulting to advertisers looking to spend some coin in the out-of-home market. After 13 years at APN leading its national direct sales and then its NSW agency sales teams, Tim Rose resigned from the business in shortly before it had agreed to be sold […]

Melbourne Agency Taska Media Wins Exhibition Events Australia Media Account
  • Media

Melbourne Agency Taska Media Wins Exhibition Events Australia Media Account

Independent media agency Taska Media has secured the entire national media business of Australia’s largest consumer events company Exhibition & Events Australia (EEA). The deal that will see the agency deliver a full suite of television, radio, out of home, digital, partnerships and publisher-focused media buying. The boutique agency said it won the account for EEA […]

US Culture Consultancy Opens Australian Office
  • Marketing

US Culture Consultancy Opens Australian Office

Consulting firm Ministry of Culture (MoC) has announced the expansion of its US-based business to Australia with a new office in Sydney. It is the first international office for the US group, which will focus on providing cultural transformation, consumer insights and culture creation to Australian and Asia-Pacific clients. MoC’s Australian founder, David Art Wales […]