Alba's Honest Beauty Launches, Light On 'Natural' Claims
This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet
One week after a consumer filed suit against The Honest Company for deceptive "natural" product marketing, the firm unveils Honest Beauty, an extensive makeup and skin-care collection marketed along similar lines, but without the "natural" allusions. Meanwhile, SPF-containing items in the collection feature non-nano zinc oxide in higher concentrations than the Honest sunscreen lotion that allegedly failed users earlier this year.
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Johnson & Johnson and Hain Celestial brands are among those whose natural personal-care claims have resulted in costly lawsuits in the U.S., while other leading natural players have been more successful in avoiding litigation. Abstaining from absolute natural assertions, defining the parameters of natural claims in the context of marketing materials and certifying offerings to private natural standards are tactics that may help, though ultimately there are no guarantees in this largely unregulated landscape at present.
A consumer suit filed in California district court builds on recent Honest sunscreen controversy and growing criticism aimed at the "non-toxic" family brand, calling the company out for use of synthetic chemicals in its purported natural offerings, as well as efficacy claims for its sunscreen that failed to protect users. The plaintiff seeks class certification and damages of at least $5 million, as well as a "corrective" ad campaign.
Firm's SPF 30 sunscreen lotion, denounced by consumers for alleged ineffectiveness at preventing sunburn, remains out of stock, but The Honest Company is looking ahead to a planned foray into color cosmetics, armed with $100 million in new funding.