Online ad for Body Sculpture deemed misleading
Following upheld complaints over online ads for Rodial products Glamtox Sticks, Glamoxy Snake Serum and Boob Job, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has judged another ad on the company’s website, plus an email titled ‘Forget the Facelift’ to be misleading.
The online ad for Body Sculpture stated: “A cult classic, Body Sculpture is an intensive gel that is formulated to help moisturise skin in problem areas. The fast acting formula of Body Sculpture is promoted when massaged onto the body used in upward movements, focusing on problem areas – thighs, bottom and upper arms.” A testimonial on the same page read: “These products really work and if you compare with the price of plastic surgery you’ll see they are not expensive at all.”
Meanwhile, a separate email with the title ‘Forget the Facelift’ stated: “Sculpt and firm your jaw line without the need for surgery with these easy steps! – apply liberally to the neck to strengthen and contour with age-busting ingredients peptides + calcium – smooth in upwards sweeping motions, massaging gently to encourage blood flow – to help the tone, gently pinch the area after application – repeat twice a day for tighter, younger looking skin!”
The complainant challenged whether the ads misleadingly implied that the products were as effective as surgery, while the ASA challenged whether the name Body Sculpture in the first ad implied that the product would improve body shape.
In response, Rodial said that to suggest that the description implied the product was as effective as surgery was stretching the English language to a large degree. Rodial added it was stretching matters beyond reasonable boundaries to suggest the ad was comparing the product to any kind of major surgery. They said that if, however, the reference was to minor surgery, careful assessment would need to be made of what kind of minor surgery was being compared, as not all types of surgery were fully effective or good value. The company also provided information on the ingredients in the two products and their uses.
Responding to the second complaint, Rodial asserted that the name of the product was akin to a trademark, rather than a product description.
The ASA upheld both complaints, ruling in the first instance that the ads described advertised products as alternatives to surgery with no evidence that the products were as effective as surgery, and in the second that there was no evidence the product could work as the name implied.
Neither ad should appear again in its current form.