Honasa Consumer Private Limited - Aqualogica Glow+ Plump Lip Mask

Recommendation: Upheld | Medium: Suo Motu - NAMS (TAMS)

The ASCI had approached the advertiser for its response in addressing the objections raised in the complaint. The advertiser was offered an option to seek an Informal Resolution (IR) of the complaint by modifying or withdrawing the claims objected to in the advertisement, or alternately to substantiate the claims with the required supporting data. The advertiser was also offered an opportunity for a telecon with the ASCI Secretariat, which they did not avail, and submitted their response. The advertiser in their response stated that, “the Product contains “ASCORBYL GLUCOSIDE (Vitamin C)” which an active ingredient in the product formulation. Ascorbyl Glucoside has properties that help in reduction of hyperpigmentation, lighting of skin, etc”. As claim support data, the advertiser submitted copy of studies of AA2G, a stabilized Vitamin C which has a function of skin lightening. The advertiser further informed that they have made changes in the advertisement by adding a disclaimer - "Based on properties of key ingredients", to qualify the said claims. As proof, the advertiser provided screen shots of the revised advertisement. In response to the advertiser’s assertions, the ASCI Secretariat informed the advertiser that the proposed modification would not take care of the objections raised in the complaint. In order to make such ingredient based claims the product must contain these ingredients in appropriate quantities. The advertiser was asked to provide product efficacy data for the claims made. However, the advertiser did not respond within the given timelines. The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) viewed the Website advertisement (https://aqualogica.in/product/glow[1]plump-lip-mask-15g) considered the complaint, and the advertiser’s response. The CCC discussed that the claims made are related to the product but the reference material provided pertains to the benefits of the ingredient - Ascorbyl Glucoside (Vitamin C) which is present in the product. The advertiser did not provide any product efficacy data for their formulation specific to the benefits attributable to the claimed ingredient. Also, there was no clinical study conducted on the product itself to prove that the product provides the claimed benefits. Based on the advertiser’s submissions, the CCC concluded that the claims, “Reduces pigmentation”, and “Lightens Dark, Pigmented Lips”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence of product efficacy. The claims are misleading by exaggeration and are likely to lead to widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers. The said claims contravened Chapter I, Clause 1.1, 1.4 and 1.5 of the ASCI Code. This complaint was UPHELD.