‘Matters of Fact’ Are Now ‘Beside the Point’

COSMETIC CLAIMS - misinformation & NOISE

The EU cosmetic claims legislation which came into force in 2013 seems to be over and done with, an assumption being that cosmetic brands are settling in to follow through on their clams development — in order to provide coherent, transparent, truthful, and relevant messages to the consumer.

In the here and now, however, credible and authoritative science and evidence is being eroded by the clever architecture of misinformation, perpetrated by an unchallenged marketing-driven climate of fear and irrationality. Social media, has become a virulent source of untraceable whisper campaigns, in order to sow confusion in the minds of the consumer and discredit the industry. Sadly, it is an unwitting or deliberate industry, which helps to spread this.

Cosmetic claims are becoming more bizarre and distrustful, with many brands not really understanding what it is they’re claiming — by producing me-too claims; why they are making these claims; and what the consequence and impact of their claims is actually doing to confused, and misinformed consumers. Added to this, according to the EU Cosmetic Regulation (EU No 655/2013), our industry focuses on an ‘average consumer’ who is considered circumspect, and, who supposedly understands the messages presented to them at point of sale, and advertising.

However, this may not be the case in reality, with the loudest noises coming from those who are clearly not so, and ‘matters of fact’ are rapidly becoming ‘beside the point.’ This in turn panics the uneducated both within the industry and outside. With non-compliance with the six common criteria for claims still rife, and claims using language that has no dictionary definition, how on earth do we expect a consumer to make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing a product? The ‘noise’ just gets louder.

With Covid-19 affecting everyone on the planet, for the industry, lockdown gives us an opportunity to reflect on the entirety of our lives. It also gives the industry a wonderful opportunity to reflect on where it is going, where it should be going, and how we should be engaging with the consumer. The industry post-Covid will not and should not be the same....stay safe!

ⒸCallaghan Consulting International