The online ad for ‘Little Me Organics Oh So Gentle Hair and Body Wash’ claimed the product was organic, despite only containing 5 per cent organic ingredients.
A complainant challenged whether the claim was misleading because it implied the product met an industry standard for organic products, which it does not.
Boots said that Little Me Organics…’ is the brand name, adding that there is no legal definition of what organic means with reference to cosmetic products.
The retailer claims that “a reasonable consumer” would understand the brand name implies some of the ingredients are organic and that the pear, mallow and aloe vera ingredients are organic as stated on the label.
Boots provided certification for the organic ingredients in the product from The Soil Association, US. Mayacert, Quality Certification Services and Eco Cert.
The ASA has banned the ad saying that consumers would understand the claim meant the product met an independently defined standard.
It has advised Boots not to promote the product in future marketing communications unless a prominent disclaimer states that the organic claim is implied, not certified.
The product is also stocked online by supermarkets and Amazon and the ASA warns other website owners stocking the products and “organic claims” should take note of the ruling.