In a letter sent Sept. 7, 2012, the FDA accuses L’Oreal of making misleading claims for its Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate, which claims to boost “the activity of genes and stimulate the production of youth proteins.”
Specifically, the FDA has asked L’Oreal to change its Web site and product labels to ensure the claims don’t violate drug regulations.
If its ad claims were true, Genifique would be classified as a drug and subject to FDA regulatory scrutiny. The move is part of the FDA’s sweeping campaign to target cosmetic companies that make outrageous anti-aging claims that are not scientifically proven.
This isn’t the first time L’Oreal has come under fire for its marketing propaganda.
In February 2012, a L’Oreal ad featuring actress Rachel Weisz was banned in the U.K. because the heavily photoshopped ad photo of the 42-year-old Oscar winner was so unrealistic-looking that it exaggerated the anti-wrinkle cream’s effectiveness.
And in September 2011, L’Oreal made headlines after it was accused of lightening Indian actress Freida Pinto‘s skin in a makeup ad.
Three years earlier, L’Oreal was accused of doing the exact same thing to singer Beyonce in a cosmetics ad. L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetics manufacturer, denied “whitewashing” in both instances.