2017 In Review: Plaintiffs Find New Angles For Attacking Cosmetics' Authenticity
This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet
Rose Sheet's coverage of consumer litigation targeting personal-care companies for deceptive claims, among other alleged violations, yielded some of its most-read stories in 2017, based on online analytics. Trends are likely to carry over and, in some cases, pick up steam in 2018.
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Mainstream personal-care brands using "all natural" claims have been the favored targets of plaintiff attorneys seeking settlement payouts, but now category pioneers including California Baby and Kiss My Face are under attack for softer "natural" claims – and they may be more inclined to defend their natural status, according to California-based attorney Angela Diesch.
FDA's cosmetics activities fell off noticeably compared with 2016, and the change in the White House spurred the agency to begin looking for regulatory burdens to eliminate while shuffling priorities away from cosmetics to make do with proposed cuts in federal funding. In this climate, robust cosmetics oversight may depend on a legislative update, with multiple draft bills on the table.
Proposed class action cases filed against Coppertone marketer Bayer and the brand's former owner, Merck & Co., federal and state courts allege two SPF 30 formulas contain half the SPF as advertised. The complaints continue a trend of class actions filed due to sunscreen claims criticized by Consumer Reports.