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Product: Health & Beauty
Advertiser: Vegan Tan
Medium: Online - Company Website
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 15.2, 15.3, 15.4, 15.5, 15.6
Under the heading “Plastic Negative Products” on the advertisers’ website the following information was provided:
“Our bottles may look like plastic, but they’re actually made from sugar polymer and reclaimed plastic from the ocean. You won’t find any plastic here! The complete range of Vegan Tan products carry a plastic negative footprint – talk about sweet sunshine!”
The complainant said that bottles made from sugar cane created plastic and this resulted in the exact same product the advertisers were claiming not to use.
By way of substantiation for the claim made in their advertising, the advertisers forwarded a copy of their contract with RePurpose Global (1), via whom they said they were awarded a plastic negative status for their brands, including VeganTan. They said they paid a fee to RePurpose Global on every single bottle of VeganTan sold to maintain this status.
Notwithstanding the above, the advertisers said they had amended the advertising on their website.
The Executive reviewed the information provided on the RePurpose Global website and noted that the premise behind Plastic Neutral Certification was to remove as much plastic from nature as that used by the business subscribing to them (2).
(1) Enabling change through the world’s largest plastic recovery platform
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
The Committee noted the contract provided but also noted from the researched information that the premise behind Plastic Neutral Certification was to remove as much plastic from nature as that used by the business subscribing to the project. The Committee considered this in the context of the claim “You won’t find any plastic here!”. While they accepted the premise behind subscribing to RePurpose Global, they did not consider that the subscription in itself was adequate substantiation for the claim made in the advertising.
In the circumstances, the Committee considered that the claim made in the advertising that “you won’t find any plastic here “had not been adequately substantiated and that this claim had the potential to mislead consumers. Accordingly, they considered that it was in breach of Code Sections, 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10 of the Code.
As the advertising had been amended no further action was required.