French cosmetics company L’Oreal has agreed to settle a case with US Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection over charges of deceptive advertising.
A campaign for L’Oreal’s Genifique products claimed its products would lead to “visibly younger skin in just seven days” by targeting the users’ genes.
The US consumer regulator said that the adverts were “false and unsubstantiated”.
L’Oreal’s Genifique campaign claimed its products would lead to visibly younger skin in just seven days by targeting the users’ genes (photo Lancome)
L’Oreal said the claims in question had not been used “for some time now”.
“It would be nice if cosmetics could alter our genes and turn back time,” said Jessica Rich, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
“But L’Oreal couldn’t support these claims.”
As part of the settlement, L’Oreal USA is barred from making any anti-aging claims unless it has “competent and reliable scientific evidence substantiating such claims”, the FTC said.
The advertising campaigns ran across TV, radio and online and claimed that the Genifique product was “clinically proven” to “boost genes” activity and stimulate the production of youth proteins which would lead to “visibly younger skin in just seven days”.
“The safety, quality and effectiveness of the company’s products were never in question,” said L’Oreal USA spokeswoman Kristina Schake in a statement.
“Going forward, L’Oreal USA will continue to serve its customers through industry-leading research, scientific innovation and responsible advertising,” Kristina Schake added.
The criminal investigation into Nicolas Sarkozy for allegedly soliciting secret campaign financing from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt has been dropped, French media say.
France’s former President Nicolas Sarkozy has been left off a list of those to appear for trial over the “Bettencourt affair”, Le Monde reports.
Nicolas Sarkozy had denied visiting Liliane Bettencourt – alleged to be mentally frail – to solicit cash.
The decision could leave Nicolas Sarkozy clear to contest the 2017 election.
Nicolas Sarkozy has been left off a list of those to appear for trial over the Bettencourt affair
Although unpopular when he lost his attempt to be re-elected in 2012, opinion polls now suggest Nicolas Sarkozy would beat President Francois Hollande in a re-run.
The possibility of a criminal case against Nicolas Sarkozy has, therefore, gripped the media in France.
Liliane Bettencourt’s butler testified that Nicolas Sarkozy was a regular visitor to her home in the run-up to his first election victory in 2007.
It is alleged that one of Nicolas Sarkozy’s aides made separate visits, picking up envelopes stuffed full of cash.
Nicolas Sarkozy insisted that he only saw Liliane Bettencourt – known as France’s richest woman- once during 2007.
The argument came to a dramatic head in March, when a judge summoned both Nicolas Sarkozy and the butler for a face-to-face encounter, after which preliminary charges were filed against the former president.
Those charges have now been dropped, according to Le Monde newspaper and AFP news agency, which quoted a source close to the investigation.
France’s ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy has been placed under formal investigation over claims his 2007 election campaign received illegal donations from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, France’s richest woman.
Nicolas Sarkozy is accused of accepting thousands of euros from Liliane Bettencourt, now aged 90.
The former president denies taking financial advantage of Liliane Bettencourt.
Nicolas Sarkozy’s lawyer said he would file an appeal against the “incoherent and unfair decision”, AFP news agency reports.
Magistrate Jean-Michel Gentil, who leads the inquiry, unexpectedly summoned Nicolas Sarkozy for a face-to-face encounter with Liliane Bettencourt’s butler, Pascal Bonnefoy, in the city of Bordeaux.
The judge wanted to determine how often Nicolas Sarkozy had met Liliane Bettencourt in 2007.
While Nicolas Sarkozy has maintained he only saw her once during that year, Pascal Bonnefoy gave a different account on Thursday.
Following the hearing, prosecutors said Nicolas sarkozy had been placed under formal investigation “for taking advantage of a vulnerable person during 2007 to the detriment of Liliane Bettencourt”.
Under French law the court’s decision falls short of a formal charge.
Investigators will press ahead with the enquiry before deciding whether he should face a trial.
Nicolas Sarkozy has been placed under formal investigation over claims his 2007 election campaign received illegal donations from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt
Nicolas Sarkozy previously hinted that he was considering another tilt at the presidency in 2017. The outcome of the investigation could determine whether he will make a return to politics, observers say.
Police raided Nicolas Sarkozy’s home and offices last July after he lost his presidential immunity.
The former president was declared a material witness in November, which meant he was a suspect but had not been formally charged.
Nicolas Sarkozy met Liliane Bettencourt when he was mayor of the wealthiest suburb in Paris and forged a close friendship with her over the years.
He was a regular visitor to the family mansion, according to her staff.
It is alleged that staff acting for Liliane Bettencourt gave 150,000 euros in cash to Nicolas Sarkozy’s aides during his successful 2007 campaign to become president.
Individual campaign contributions in France are limited to 4,600 euros.
Liliane Bettencourt’s former accountant, Claire Thibout, has alleged Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign treasurer at the time – Eric Woerth, who later became budget minister – collected the cash in person.
Claire Thibout also revealed in a leaked police interview that Nicolas Sarkozy, while mayor of Neuilly from 1983 to 2002, paid “regular” visits to the Bettencourt house.
But Nicolas Sarkozy has dismissed as mere gossip claims that he took envelopes stuffed with cash.
“[The Bettencourt] never gave me a single penny and I never asked them for any,” he was quoted as saying by the Sud-Ouest newspaper.
Eric Woerth, who was forced to resign as UMP party treasurer in July as a result of the scandal, is already under formal investigation over the 150,000 euro payment allegations.
The allegations surrounding Nicolas Sarkozy and Eric Woerth first surfaced in connection with a trial over Liliane Bettencourt’s estimated 17 billion euro fortune.
Eric Woerth denies any wrongdoing, as does Liliane Bettencourt.
A clinical study has been carried out by cosmetic company L’Oréal in order to compare the efficacy of its new anti-ageing cream Revitalift Laser X3 to another dermatological laser built up from fragmented CO2.
Revitalift Laser X3 is claimed to induce collagen synthesis with the effect of increasing the density, firmness and tonicity of the skin.
L’Oréal undertook its study on 50 women aged between 45 and 55 and intends to make report the results in a scientific publication.
After 8 weeks of Revitalift Laser X3 treatment applied twice daily, the product reduced cutaneous micro-relief by 18 percent compared with 20 percent for the laser CO2
It was found that after eight weeks of Revitalift Laser X3 treatment applied twice daily, the product reduced cutaneous micro-relief by 18% compared with 20% for the laser CO2.
Revitalift Laser X3 is based on a patented molecule.
Liliane Bettencourt, L’Oreal heiress announced today she wants to emigrate after a judge ruled that she was “mentally unfit” to manage her over $20 billion fortune.
Liliane Bettencourt, 88, the France’s richest woman who inherited the L’Oreal cosmetics fortune, was told that she had dementia and Alzheimer’s and is no longer mentally fit to run her business affairs.
The L’Oreal heiress said she was fine, and accused her daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers of plotting against her to try and wrestle control of the company.
Liliane Bettencourt, 88, the France's richest woman who inherited the L'Oreal cosmetics fortune, was told that she had dementia and Alzheimer's and is no longer mentally fit to run her business affairs
Liliane Bettencourt, who turns 89 on Friday, is also suspicious of France’s judicial authorities who are investigating her for allegedly giving brown envelopes full of cash to leading politicians in return for tax breaks.
Among the politicians involved is said to be President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was once a regular visitor to Liliane Bettencourt household in Neuilly, the upmarket Paris suburb.
In a court in Courbevoie, Judge Stephanie Kass-Danno granted the controversial ruling following a petition by Francoise Bettencourt- Meyers.
Francoise Bettencourt- Meyers, 58, had argued that Liliane Bettencourt was being negatively influenced by members of her “entourage” to whom she kept handing out money.
Just before the judge’s decision, Liliane Bettencourt said: “If my daughter wins I will go abroad.”
Liliane Bettencourt also said that having her money put under the control of a daughter to whom she seldom speaks would be a “nightmare”.
The L’Oreal heiress also objected to another part of the ruling that states that she herself will be under the “guardianship” of her grandson, Jean-Victor Meyers.
The Bettencourt family war started in 2007, when Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers accused a photographer called Francois-Marie Banier of taking advantage of Liliane Bettencourt’s condition by persuading her to give him around $1.5 billion worth of artworks, insurance policies and cash.
The family war then turned into a political scandal after it was alleged that Liliane Bettencourt had effectively “bought” tax breaks from politicians like President Nicolas Sarkozy.
At that moment, a judicial enquiry has been opened into the so-called Bettencourt Affair, but it is unlikely to conclude before next year’s presidential elections.
According to Jean-Rene Farthouat, Liliane Bettencourt’s lawyer, today’s ruling was “contrary to good sense” and there would be an appeal.
Liliane Bettencourt is the daughter of Eugene Schueller, the founder of L’Oreal.
Bettencourt family owns a 31% stake in the company, worth over $20 billion.
Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers reassured investors that the decision to put Liliane Bettencourt under guardianship would not affect the company in any way.