Skinny Tan ads ruled as misleading by the ASA
Complaints against tanning brand Skinny Tan have been upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which ruled the brand had been misleading consumers on several counts.
The brand, which also has a line of professional spray tan solutions, was facing complaints about a Facebook post and content page on its website that made claims that the brand was the “UKs No 1 [sic]”, that its products smelled better than competitor products, that “no one should be putting chemical DHAs on their skin”, and that its products contained an ingredient, guarana, that “will help make cellulite look visibly smoother and less obvious”.
The ASA stepped in to investigate whether the claims were misleading and could be substantiated. It also looked into claims within both the Facebook post and website content that claimed the product was “natural”.
Despite Innovaderma, which manufactures the brand, responding to the claims and attempting to substantiate them, the ASA said it was “not able to demonstrate that they were the bestselling product across the whole market”, and that the claim was therefore misleading.
It also said Skinny Tan’s claim in reference to “chemical DHAs” would be regarded by consumers as an implication that its own products did not contain DHA but a natural tanning agent.
The ASA ruling said: “However, we understood that the product did contain DHA”, and “…we had not seen any evidence that the DHA contained in Skinny Tan was different to that of other products… and because we had not seen any evidence it smelt better than products containing other DHAs, we therefore concluded that the claims were misleading.”
It also ruled that Skinny Tan made some claims that described physiological benefits and implied that the tan would assist with physically toning the skin rather than give the appearance of toned skin. It also said it would be understood by consumers that Skinny Tan was implying guarana had cellulite-reducing properties.
Skinny Tan was ordered by the ASA that the ads in question must not appear again in their current form and that it was “not to refer to their products as 'No 1', to imply that tney did not contain DHA or imply that its smell was better or that this was a result of other products containing DHA.”
The ruling continued, “We also told them not to state or imply that their product as a whole was natural, to state or imply that it has any benefits beyond cosmetics, to state or imply that guarana had properties that reduced cellulite or gave the appearance of reducing cellulite or to state or imply that the product reduced the appearance of cellulite.”