April 08, 2014

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved a final consent order settling charges that beauty products and cosmetics marketer L'Occitane violated the FTC Act by making unscrupulous claims about its skin creams.

L'Occitane claimed that its Almond Beautiful Shape and Almond Shaping Delight creams had clinically proven body slimming capabilities. The company launched an advertising campaign in 2012 claiming that Almond Beautiful Shape could "trim 1.3 inches in just 4 weeks,"and that it was a "cellulite fighter;"and that Almond Shaping Delight has "clinically proven slimming effectiveness,"and will "visibly refine and reshape the silhouette, to resculpt and tone the body contours." L'Occitane's ads also claimed that both products could produce a "noticeably slimmer, firmer you … (in just 4 weeks!)."

The company charged consumers $48 for 7 ounces of Almond Shaping Delight and $44 for 6.7 ounces of Almond Beautiful Shape cream.

First announced in January 2014, the settlement with L'Occitane requires the company to pay $450,000 for consumer redress and prohibits it from making future false and deceptive weight-loss claims.

The settlement bans L'Occitane from claiming that any product applied to the skin causes substantial weight or fat loss or a substantial reduction in body size; prohibits the company from claiming that any drug or cosmetic causes weight or fat loss or a reduction in body size, unless the claim is backed by two adequate and well-controlled human clinical studies; requires that any claim that a drug or cosmetic reduces or eliminates cellulite or affects body fat or weight be backed by competent and reliable scientific evidence; and prohibits the company from misrepresenting the results of any test, study, or research, or that the benefits of a product are scientifically proven.