The NAD recently recommended that DermStore LLC discontinue two claims regarding its “SmartLash Eyelash Enhancer” which were found by the NAD on DermStore’s Facebook page as part of its ongoing monitoring program. Specifically, DermStore claimed that its product provided “Up to a 68% increase in the appearance of lash length” and that it was “Dermatologist Recommended.” With respect to the first claim, the advertiser provided data from a 56-day independent study assessing the performance of the product on 30 subjects aged 18-57, each of whom responded whether they were satisfied with their eyelash length following treatment. The NAD found, however, that the claim communicated a message that appearance of lash-length actually increased by as much as 68%, not a message of consumer satisfaction. With respect to the second claim, the advertiser provided the recommendation of a Board Certified dermatologist who, after personally utilizing the product, observed an increase in eyelash length. As in prior decisions, the NAD noted that claims concerning recommendations by medical professionals must be supported by well-conducted physician surveys, in which doctors base their conclusions on their actual experience and what they do in their daily practice. Thus the NAD found the personal recommendation of one dermatologist was insufficient substantiation, and recommended that the advertiser discontinue the claim.
Tip: Quantified performance claims must be substantiated by data demonstrating that consumers will experience results to the level or degree claimed. And, according to the NAD, “up to” claims must be supported by evidence that an “appreciable number” of consumers can achieve the referenced maximum results. The NAD also closely examines claims that a product has been recommended by medical professionals, since it has repeatedly stated that such claims carry great weight with consumers.