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Product: Health & Beauty
Advertiser: Therapie Clinic
Medium: Internet (Company Website), Internet (Third Party Website)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 3.10, 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 4.22
A sponsored social media post stated the following:
"LAST CHANCE to get up to 75% OFF in our Cyber Monday Laser Hair Removal sale. Our lowest prices. Sale ends Tuesday. Must buy online today before it is too late”
Graphics featuring the price list was displayed within the post:
€ Was Now*
Any Bikini and Underarm €80 €29.95
Half Leg €129 €50.95
Full leg €159 €69.95
Full Leg, Any Bikini and Underarm €199 €89.95
Full Body €499 €199.95”
The complainant considered the pricing in the advertisement to be misleading. They said that the offer for hair removal was for €29.95 for a specific area of the body and that on the advertisers’ website the cheapest available price for that specific area of the body was €42, with the requirement to purchase 10 sessions to avail of that price point, otherwise the price for 1 session was €62. The complainant also noted that there was an asterisk provided in the advertisement but nothing further in the advertisement to explain what the asterisk represented.
The complainant also raised an issue with the advertisers using models with red hair and darker skin tones in their advertisements and promotional material on their website, when in fact laser hair removal was not available for these people. The complainant considered that laser hair removal was only available for people with white skin and dark hair and that if a darker skinned person used this product, they would suffer severe burns on their skin.
The advertisers stated that they were in the process of reviewing all assets to ensure greater transparency and that they were ensuring that any terms and conditions related to an offer would be more readily available to customers. They also advised that they had investigated the price discrepancy issue raised in order to find evidence that the discrepancy occurred, how long it was live for and to identify why it occurred. They said that it appeared that the discrepancy was down to human error and that it was corrected almost immediately and was only live for an extremely short period of time. They said that the discrepancy happened when they were extremely under-resourced,
however, they have confirmed that there have been no such discrepancies since. They said that they now had a competent and full team in both their marketing and technology departments, who quality assure and double check all releases pre and post going live. They said that unfortunately, human errors such as these do happen in online businesses, however, they now have robust processes in place to double check all releases and rectify any future issues as promptly as possible.
The advertisers stated that they used a technology called Elite iQ and that one of the market differentiating features of this technology, was that, unlike other laser hair removal machines, it is suitable for all skin types. By way of supporting documentation, they provided comments from the manufacturer of the Elite iQ machines, together with an article on laser hair removal in pigmented skin. The manufacturer advised that the approved indications for the machine stated that it is a medical device intended for hair removal, skin rejuvenation, treatment of vascular and pigmented lesions, and treatment of onychomycosis. They advised that the machine had two laser sources, a 755nm and 1064nm. They said that the 1064nm had no limitations in skin type, while the 755nm was recommended up to skin type III. Asthe Elite IQ contained both wavelengths, the manufacturer considered that the claim “suitable for all skin types” applied. They referred to the article stating that it supported the safety of the 1064nm laser on darker skin types which is what they recommend in their clinical reference guide.
Study – Long-Pulsed Nd:YAG Laser-Assisted Hair Removal in Pigmented Skin. A Clinical and Histological Evaluation.
Tina S. Alster, MD; Holly Bryan, BS; Carmen M. Williams, MD.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
Issue 1: - Upheld
The Committee noted that the price discrepancy issue arose as a result of human error. Nevertheless, as the prices in the sponsored post had been incorrect at the time of publication, the Committee considered that the advertising was in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4 and 4.22 of the Code.
Issue 2: - Not Upheld
The Committee noted the information provided that the laser involved was suitablefor all skin types. In the light of the information provided, the Committee did not consider that the advertising was in breach of Code on the grounds raised at Issue 2.
Issue 1 – As the advertising had been removed no further action was required. The Committee noted the undertaking by the advertisers for future advertising.
Issue 2 – No further action required.