UK ASA ruling: Nivea DNAge Cell Renewal Day Cream

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A magazine ad, for Nivea DNAge Cell Renewal Day Cream, claimed, among other, that the product will result in "firmer skin" and "DNAGE CELL RENEWAL", a product "which boosts surface skin cell renewal leaving you with noticeably firmer looking skin." 

 A consumer laid a complaint with the UK ASA arguing that the claims were misleading, "because it failed to make clear that the cream may only have a temporary, visible effect on the skin", and the product name "DNAGE CELL RENEWAL" misleadingly implied that the product could in some way regenerate cells".

The UK ASA agreed, ruling in favour of the complainant (but not completely).

ASA Adjudications

Beiersdorf UK Ltd 2010 Solihull Parkway Birmingham Business Park Birmingham B37 7YS

Number of complaints: 1

Date: 26 August 2009
Media: Magazine Sector: Health and beauty Ad

A magazine ad, for Nivea DNAge Cell Renewal Day Cream, featured the text "FACE THE FUTURE WITH FIRMER SKIN NIVEA VISAGE DNAGE CELL RENEWAL … An innovation in skincare, which boosts surface skin cell renewal leaving you with noticeably firmer looking skin.*" The asterisk was linked to a footnote that stated "*126 women agreed".

Issue

The complainant challenged whether:

1. the claim "FACE THE FUTURE WITH FIRMER SKIN" was misleading, because it failed to make clear that the cream may only have a temporary, visible effect on the skin;

2. the product name "DNAGE CELL RENEWAL" misleadingly implied that the product could in some way regenerate cells; and

3. the claim "126 women agreed" was misleading, because it failed to make clear the sample size on which it was based.

The CAP Code: 7.1;50.1;50.7;3.1 Response

1. Beiersdorf said, in the context of an ad for a day cream, they did not believe that consumers would infer from the claim that the product had a permanent effect on the skin. They nevertheless said they would amend the claim for future ads to "FACE THE FUTURE WITH FIRMER LOOKING SKIN" and link that to a footnote, which they felt would address any concerns that DNAge Cell Renewal had anything more than a temporary, visible effect.

2. Beiersdorf said the product name "DNAge CELL RENEWAL" was immediately followed by the claim "which boosts surface skin cell renewal" which they believed qualified the claim and ensured it was not misleading.

3. Beiersdorf agreed there had been an error and that the footnote should have read "70% of women agreed. Product in use 126 women". They said this would be changed for future ads.

Assessment

1. Upheld The ASA noted the claim did not refer to the "appearance" of skin after use but rather "FIRMER SKIN". We considered that consumers were likely to infer that the product had more than a temporary, visible effect on the skin and some could infer that it had a long lasting or permanent effect.

We concluded that the headline claim was misleading and welcomed Beiersdorf's willingness to amend it in future ads. On this point, the ad breached CAP Code Clause 7.1 (Truthfulness).

2. Not upheld
Although we considered that the headline claim "FACE THE FUTURE WITH FIRMER SKIN" was misleading for the reasons set out above, we noted the product name DNAge CELL RENEWAL was immediately clarified with the claim "which boosts surface skin cell renewal leaving you with noticeably firmer looking skin".
We considered that claims in product names were acceptable provided they were appropriately qualified. We considered that the qualifying claim in the ad made clear the product did not regenerate skin cells, but instead made clear that the product had an exfoliating effect on the skin. We concluded that the product name, as it appeared in the context of the whole ad, was unlikely to mislead. On this point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code Clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness), 50.1 and 50.7 (Health and beauty products and therapies – general) but did not find it in breach.

3. Upheld
We noted Beiersdorfs statement that they had made an error and were willing to change the footnote for future ads. We agreed with the complainant that, without stating the sample size, the claim "126 women agreed" could mislead. Furthermore, we noted 126 women had not agreed but rather 126 women had tried the product and 70% agreed. We concluded that the claim was misleading and welcomed Beirsdorf's willingness to amend it.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code Clause 3.1(Substantiation) and 7.1 (Truthfulness). Action The ad must not appear again in its current form.

See also: Mystery of Nivea Goodbye Cellulite  

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Nivea My Silhouette Gel Cream – ASA Ruling | CAMcheck - 7 September, 2011

    […] their product. The ASA has previously ruled against Nivea Goodbye Cellulite, and the UK ASA against Nivea DNAge Cell Renewal Day Cream. One would have thought that such an "esteemed" company would stop making unsubstantiable […]

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