FaceB4 facewash claims challenged by Freederm

Advertising watchdog ASA upholds Freederm’s complaint

FaceB4, a UK-based skin care company owned by Medichem International, has been the focus of an Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigation, after claims on its website were challenged by rival company Freederm.

Freederm, also based in the UK, is a skin care brand that specialises in products for spot-prone skin. The company challenged whether claims on the faceb4.com website that FaceB4 was the “UK’s most effective anti-bacterial face wash” were misleading and could be substantiated.



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Medichem responded to the challenge stating that the claim was based on independent tests that proved that the FaceB4 face wash was more effective at killing the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes than all other leading anti-bacterial facewashes currently sold in the UK.

However, the ASA did not agree and upheld Freederm’s complaint, stating that the claim was likely to be understood by consumers to mean that it was the most effective facewash compared with others that had an anti-bacterial action and that it related to the whole market. The test reports, which were supplied by FaceB4, only included in vitro tests on leading competitors as opposed to the whole market. Ultimately the ASA concluded the claim was misleading.

The ASA ruled that Medichem should not repeat the claim and that the ad should not run it is current form again.

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