Boots censured for misleading organic claims

Boots has been rapped by the advertising watchdog for making misleading claims about a range of organic baby products on its website.

little me

The online ad for ‘Little Me Organics Oh So Gentle Hair and Body Wash’ claimed the product was organic, despite only containing 5 per cent organic ingredients.

A complainant challenged whether the claim was misleading because it implied the product met an industry standard for organic products, which it does not.

Boots said that Little Me Organics…’ is the brand name, adding that there is no legal definition of what organic means with reference to cosmetic products.

The retailer claims that “a reasonable consumer” would understand the brand name implies some of the ingredients are organic and that the pear, mallow and aloe vera ingredients are organic as stated on the label.

Boots provided certification for the organic ingredients in the product from The Soil Association, US. Mayacert, Quality Certification Services and Eco Cert.

The ASA has banned the ad saying that consumers would understand the claim meant the product met an independently defined standard.

It has advised Boots not to promote the product in future marketing communications unless a prominent disclaimer states that the organic claim is implied, not certified.

The product is also stocked online by supermarkets and Amazon and the ASA warns other website owners stocking the products and “organic claims” should take note of the ruling.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Consummers are generally confused about 'organic' claims, and Boots are taking advantage of that by using their trusted brand name to promote a product that clearly does not qualify to be marketed as Organic.

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  • There is so much 'greenwashing' in the beauty many cosmetic products are making natural and marketing claims, that consumers are getting confused as to what really is a natural / organic product.

    The presence of some organic ingredients does not make a product organic. There is now a general consensus that organic cosmetics need to meet some recognised standards to make such claims.

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  • How do you report people who are claiming there products are Organic when they are not?

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