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Product: Health & Beauty
Advertiser: Tan Organic (The Kind Brand COmpany)
Medium: Internet (Company's Instagram page), Online – Company Social Media Account
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 15.2, 15.3, 15.5, 15.6, 15.8
Featured on the brand’s official Instagram page, a post depicted the pipette bottle for their Wonder Serum product with the text overlay “Why Do We Use Bamboo Packaging?”. Below this was a list environmental benefits associated with Bamboo. These stated:
“Bamboo is 100% compostable in 2-6 months. Bamboo is an abundant renewable resource.
Bamboo releases 35% more oxygen than the same volume of trees. ”
The caption on the post read: “Here at TanOrganic, sustainable packaging is a promise & priority to us.
From the beginning, we set out to produce high end cosmetics that avoid using plastic to preserve the integrity of our products.
We use bamboo packaging for our Facial Self Tan Mist - €29.99 & our Wonder Balm -
Also featured on the brand’s official Instagram page, this post promoted an image of their Self-Tan Lotion in its packaging. Beside the product were circled images of ginger, aloe vera and honey denoting product ingredients.
The caption which accompanied the image read “did you know our product are vegan certified and made from 100% natural ingredients? ”
One complaint was received in relation to the two advertisements above.
The complainant objected to advertisement 1 on the grounds that it was misleading. The complainant stated that the advertisement claimed the bamboo packing was compostable however the product depicted was glass covered in varnished wood, which was not compostable. They believed that this could lead consumers to incorrectly dispose of the packaging.
The complainant objected to advertisement 2 and considered the vegan claim to be misleading as the product included honey. They stated that this could result in vegans unwittingly purchasing and using the product, having believed it to be vegan.
The advertisers referred to the advertisement claim that bamboo was compostable, which they said was correct. They said that bamboo was used with glass for their packaging and that this was described as sustainable packaging. They said that they did not claim that their packaging was compostable.
The advertisers stated that the caption accompanying this post contained a typo which should have read “did you know our productS are vegan certified and made from 100% natural ingredients?”. They stated that this was an error on behalf of a junior member of their social media team and was not intended to mislead vegan customers as the advertisement clearly stated honey was an ingredient in the product.
They stated that all of their products, aside from their Self-Tan Lotion, were vegan and that they were undergoing a reformulation of the Self-Tan Lotion to remove honey from its ingredients and bring it in line with their other vegan products.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
Issue 1 - Upheld
The Committee noted the emphasis in the post on bamboo, which was described as compostable. They considered that while the advertisement did not specifically refer to the packaging as being compostable in its entirety, the impression given by the post as a whole was that the packaging was made of bamboo and that it was therefore compostable. On these grounds, the Committee concluded that the advertising had the potential to mislead customers and was in breach of Code Sections 4.01, 4.05, 4.09, 4.10 and 15.08.
Issue – 2 Upheld
The Committee noted the reference to a typographical error, that the reference to ‘product’ should have been to ‘products’. However, the claim that their product or products were vegan certified was incorrect in relation to the actual product depicted in the advertisement. In the circumstances they considered that the advertising had the potential to mislead and was in breach of 4.01 and 4.04 of the Code.
The advertising should not reappear in its current form.