HBW Insight is part of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC’s registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. For high-quality copies or electronic reprints for distribution to colleagues or customers, please call +44 (0) 20 3377 3183

Printed By


'Free Of' Marketing: Honestly, Why Bother?

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

Editorial: The WSJ reports that independent lab testing detected sodium lauryl sulfate in The Honest Company's liquid dish detergent, contrary to the startup's "free of" claims. Honest disputes the finding, but the resulting media storm and PR implications underscore the challenges inherent in such positioning, the scrutiny it invites and the risks a company assumes in marketing products for what they are not.

You may also be interested in...

EU Working Group: Cosmetics Should Be 'Free From' Denigrating Ingredient Claims

"Paraben-free" claims should not be allowed on cosmetic products because they denigrate the entire ingredient group, including safe options authorized for EU use, a European Commission working group asserts in recently published guidance. It remains to be seen if and how national regulatory authorities implement the guidance and how brands react that have made such claims a core component of their ethos.

Honest Company Heads For $1.55M Settlement In 'SLS-Free' Dispute

Honest may be close to putting its legal woes behind it and chalking them up to growing pains, with proposed settlements notified in California and New York district courts. Plaintiffs have accused the firm of misleading consumers with deceptive "SLS-free," "natural" and other claims.

2016 In Review: ‘Free Of’ Claims, Ingredient Snafus Breed Controversy

Undeclared ingredient use by Ava Anderson Non Toxic and the presence of sodium lauryl sulfate in Honest Company products, contrary to its “free of” claims, led to the former’s collapse and class action litigation against the latter in 2016. Meanwhile, “natural” marketing continues to be a risky business, with FTC stepping up enforcement action last year and efforts underway to promote clearer legal standards.

Related Content


Related Companies




Ask The Analyst

Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
Ask The Analyst

Your question has been successfully sent to the email address below and we will get back as soon as possible. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts