Julep 'shocked and disappointed' by $3m settlement claims

By Rachel Lawler 13-Sep-2016

Attorney General stands by “deceptive marketing” remarks

The CEO of Julep Beauty has responded to Washington State Attorney General, Bob Ferguson. Jane Park has said that she was “shocked and disappointed” by the office’s press statement and claimed it was “full of inaccuracies, errors and mischaracterisations”.

Peter Lavallee, Communications Director at the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, told Cosmetics Business that the office was standing by its comments.

The state issued Julep Beauty with a $3m fine in response to what it called “deceptive” marketing techniques relating to its Maven subscription service. You can read our report on their accusations here.

Julep was accused of signing up customers to its subscription service after purchasing a free welcome box of products and making it very difficult to unsubscribe. This practice was said to have taken place from 2012 to 2015.

Park disputed the District Attorney’s version of events. She said: “To set the record straight, Julep has never engaged in deceptive marketing. We have always been clear about the terms and benefits of our Maven subscription programme, which is beloved by thousands of women across the country.”

The CEO also claimed that in the period mentioned, Julep was undergoing “operational challenges” but said that these were addressed “proactively and voluntarily”.

According to Park, Julep experienced a period of “extraordinary growth” during a time when the company was updating its fulfilment practices. Park says that this resulted in shipping delays and an “unprecedented volume” of customer service calls.

Park says that Julep took “immediate action” to resolve these issues, increasing its customer service team size by 50% and added extended call centre hours.

Park added: “I started Julep out of a passion for transforming the beauty experience and encouraging women to experiment outside their comfort zones. I am committed as ever to launching innovative products co-created with our amazing community. I am grateful to each and every one of our customers.”

The CEO also claimed that the Attorney General was due to reissue its press release on the matter.

However, Lavallee told Cosmetics Business: “I have asked Ms Park’s attorney to please ask her to refrain from spreading the falsehood that we are in any way not standing behind our press release 100%.”