What would you refuse to use?

More Daily Mail. In this case, a beauty products article with a bit of humour
Article Here

Now I’ve seen a couple of these before and blogged thereupon

The fish tank pedicure I blogged in July, and the Bull Spunk hair conditioner was last year,

But Nightingale droppings exfoliator, Snail Slime handcream and Fake Snake botox cream?

Dear God!

Well I’m sorted for humour for the next few weeks!

(And by the way I don’t Actually  Buy the Daily Mail. We get it free in work, and I read it daily because I need to know if the  worried general public are going to call after reading a scare story over tea and a full English)

One Hand Doesn’t know what the other is doing

Sorting through the Daily mail this morning (Why me?) Spotted this here.

I’m not commenting on what the Daily Mail is saying here, as its just a short report on an adjudication by the ASA. The Daily Mail seem to be watching the Adjudications page of the ASA like everyone else in the industry to

a) Gloat

b) Keep an ear on the ground to see what we can “Get Away With”

The original ASA Adjudication is HERE

Now I’ll side with Avon (A competitor) with this one.


Well they did this by the book, but they still got fucked over by the ASA.

If you read the Adjudication, they submitted data, and took advice from Clearcast who were formally known as the BACC.

This is the agency that clears ads for TV. Therefore if they pick the bones out of your ad and say its OK, you should have no problems with the ASA. You can then spend £000’s on filming the ad and booking blocks of space to show it whilst people are out of the room making a cuppa.

Obviously the ASA don’t think so, and they’ve said not to show it again.

No refunds on unused blocks or the expenses of shooting the damn thing.

I bet there are a lot of people VERY pissed off in Corby today.

Reality Check

Cosmetics Design Europe is a weekly email newsletter that I’m registered for.

If you’re an industry bod like myself its a useful snapshot about whats going on, what the raw materials suppliers are plugging, yada yada yada.

Its a lazy way of getting tid bits if you’re too busy to get fully informed


One of the links to the main site caught my eye, and made me also feel a bit disturbed as well.

Women Sacrifice Food Before Cosmetics Link Here

Women sacrifice food before cosmetics
By Guy Montague-Jones
Most recently beauty retail website feelingunique.com asked 1,000 women in the UK about their shopping habits and found that the credit crisis may reveal itself more clearly in cupboards than bathrooms.

Beauty over food

Nearly one in three female respondents said they would prefer to eat less than reduce their spending on ‘essential’ beauty items.

The survey also indicated that three quarters of women also consider make-up and body treatments ‘everyday essentials’ as opposed to luxury items.

The results support the findings of a ShopSmart survey of female customers in the US carried out last month.

Supporting evidence

Polling 1,000 women by telephone the magazine concluded that female shoppers were more likely to opt for cheaper food essentials than give up their chosen cosmetic brands.

While 67 per cent would switch to less expensive brands for eggs and milk, only 30 per cent said they would be willing to turn to cheaper cosmetics.

Women are not only reluctant to reduce their spending on cosmetics but when their purses come under pressure they are more willing to scrimp and save on food, according to new surveys. 

Brand loyalty also seemed more pronounced in cosmetics than personal care where women were more likely to trade down. A total of 48 per cent said they would be willing to buy cheaper personal care items.

Now I’m not analysing the methodology, possible bias or claims here, I’ll leave that to someone else to do the digging, but I will ask the question.


I don’t understand it at all

Knowledge needs warnings

One spotted in a couple of the papers today, the Daily Telegraph, no less, and the Daily Mail (No Surprise)

Telegraph Link

Daily Mail Version

Using the Daily Telegraph version, which although they have done the cosmetic association with collagen which does make my skin crawl a little, Its actually pretty good, and certainly gives the background which is oh so important.
Kate Devlin: Good effort. You’ve named the source of the information, the results, and where its published.
The paper referenced is by Laure Rittié and colleagues from the University of Michigan who carried out a study, reported in the Archives of Dermatology journal.
They applied cream containing Oestradiol to “Sheltered Skin” (Skin that rarely sees daylight) and to photodamaged skin. They observed that collagen levels were boosted in the sheltered areas, but not in the photodamaged areas. The sample size was quite good for this kind of study (70 men and women average age 75) and the test material was applied 3 times a day for 2 weeks. This isn’t med standard, but the ASA would like this sort of study for advertising skin products.
The gist is that sun damaged skin didn’t gain collagen, wheras the “White meat” did. The author is quoted as saying the result was “Surprising”

What they haven’t told us however, is that you ain’t going to be seeing this on the shelf anytime soon. Certainly not any time soon in the EU.
Oestrogen and Oestradiol are banned in the EU for cosmetics. they’re powerful hormones, and as a bloke I wouldn’t want to lose my wrinkles whilst losing my ability to grow facial hair, shoot live ammo, and gaining breasts.

Creams are available commercially that contain Oestrogens. They are prescription only and are used for the treatment of vaginal dryness as part of HRT to decrease the symptoms of menopause.

So if you’re worried about wrinkles don’t nick granny’s HRT cream. Its not a cosmetic.

No doubt some smart ass is now going to try selling something claimed to work in this new scientific way. I’ll be watching and so I suspect will the MHRA

Or am I being Cynical

Don’t answer that!

Cheap Humour

Sometimes names of products or companies don’t translate well across the language barrier.

There are numerous examples across the web, and there are several TV Programmes usually featuring Chris Tarrant that also peddle this peurile humour.

So Apologies to this Bulgarian Company, a manufacturer of Beauty products.

Unfortunately, in English, your company name refers to a minor (If you aren’t pregnant) viral infection called German Measles

Rubella Cosmetics
Give them some business, make me feel less guilty

Thank God they don’t use Piranhas

Saw this on news 24 which we have running in the corner in work.

I was whistling the theme tune to Red Dwarf for most of the morning after.

BBC news 24 Fish Pedicure

I’ve asked about getting a fish tank for the lab, but was told that my feet would probably kill the fish with food poisoning



Lets make this clear. I like the idea behind the Dove adverts.

The idea of using everyday women to advertise your products instead of supermodels and celebs is a refreshing change in our “Hello Magazine” Society.

I’m not married to a supermodel or a WAG, and quite frankly I wouldn’t want to be. They’re OK for eye candy, but I can’t imagine discussing the finer points of philosophy and ethics with Posh and Becks at 3am in the morning.

The adverts in the TV media are common currency. Below are a couple of examples:

Now you may have seen in the media a report that all is not quite what it appears.

See reference to it here in Cosmetic Design Europe


In an interview with New Yorker magazine, Pascal Dangin, who retouches photographs for leading fashion companies and magazines, claimed he had worked hard on the Dove pictures.

“Do you know how much retouching was on that?” said Dangin. “But it was great to do, a challenge, to keep everyone’s skin and faces showing mileage but not looking unattractive.”

 Oh Whoops indeed!

Leaving aside the fact that the advertising industry in the US hated the Ads when they first aired, and were horrified when the general public warmly received them, Pascal’s comments do not come as a complete surprise to me.

I shouldn’t say that this revelation was greeted with a degree of schadenfreud in the industry, but I will comment that my CEO had a grin on his face like a Cheshire Cat when he heard about it.

Now this may be unconnected with the trouble that Unilever have been experiencing with Greenpeace in relation to Palm oil use

 Greenpeace Link


But I wouldn’t put money on it

And I suspect that this revelation may also be related to the protest at the Unilever plant in Port Sunlight where protestors were dressed as orang-utans to highlight the sourcing of palm oil from unsustainable slash and burn

BBC Link:  

Everyone in the industry is watching this one to see how it pans out

For those of us not directly involved it should be fun 

20th Century Boy

I’m not a historian, but I do have an interest in early 20th Century history and society and technology
I especially love all the glamour and artwork and sheer care and joy that went into crafting some of the adverts for even the most mundane of stuff.
This is not done so much today. I and people I work with shudder in horror when we hear the name “Nadine Baggot” and “Pentapeptides”, but not all companies chase the new ideas and disregard the old.

An example of this especially this time of the year, is the seasonal push by companies like the Coca Cola Corporation. They’ve been around for a while, so have a very large back catalogue of stuff to use. Nostalga sells especially if you’re marketing carbonated soft drinks. However its sanitised for a modern audience, as although people like the idea of the old days, they often view it with a healthy dose of soft focus from the safety of 50 years into the future.

Anyway I digress.

I was searching around some old valve radio sites when I found a link to this wonderful resource
The Ad*Access Project at Duke University

Shall I say retro nerd heaven?
I keep thinking though if I let our marketing team loose with the claims that used to be permissible in the days before the MHRA and Trading Standards…… I would be in it deep. Up to my nostrils in fact
As an example I leave you with this delight from 1929.
Happy days!
Wildroot Hair tonic

An Update!
Whilst browsing through Badscience.net, I found a post with links by someone under the name of Dibsy
The link went to here
Scroll down until you find the all time favourite of “Thor-radia” cream and powder!
Ladies! get a radiant glow with the special actives of Thorium and Radium!
A product for the time of your (Half) life!

MHRA alert

This concerns OSAS body lotion (Hat tip to Badscience.net)
MHRA Press Release regarding OSAS (Intensive body lotion with Aloe Vera) containing Steroids

This sort of thing, how shall I say it, “Grips my Excrement”
The industry has enough problems with people like the Daily Mail having pops without idiots like this selling a product which contains licenced prescription only pharmaceuticals, and passing it off as a cosmetic product.
To quote the MHRA

Home The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has found steroids in an intensive body lotion with Aloe Vera called OSAS, which claimed to contain natural ingredients. The lotion which is an unlicensed product illegally claimed to treat eczema and psoriasis and has been found to be sold in a variety of Asian and African beauty shops in London and the West Midlands and over the Internet.

Oh great!. Birmingham trading standards is always having to go to these sort of places to get illegal skin whitening creams and “Ethnic cosmetics” such as Kohl which contains enough lead to kill a horse off the market.

The lotion was brought to the attention of the MHRA by a paediatric dermatologist who became concerned when the parent of a baby he was treating for eczema started to use this product on the baby. The lotion tested positive for variable amounts of, Betamethasone dipropionate – a type of medicine called a corticosteroid. The product also contains Clotrimazole which is used in anti-fungal medications.

Strong corticosteroids (such as betamethasone) are only available on prescription and are used in the treatment of a variety of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Careful medical supervision of these treatments is important and inappropriate long-term use of corticosteroid medicines can cause skin thinning and other skin complications.

The Agency would strongly advise that anyone using this product, particularly on young children and babies, should stop immediately. Discontinuation of the product may cause a rebound effect (worsening of the condition) and you should therefore consult your doctor or healthcare provider about suitable treatments.

Anyone selling this product should stop doing so immediately, and remove it from their stock. If retailers are found to still selling this product then the MHRA will take appropriate action.

Unfortunately “Appropriate action” will be along the lines of confiscation of stock, or a fine
Prison would be more appropriate

At the time of writing, this is still on sale on ebay

Daily Fail cocks up again!

Another Stupid Scare Story
This time Titled “Is your lipstick giving you cancer”
(And a quick note to Daily Mail Journalists I have a copy of this cached for when you delete it and try to pretend it didn’t happen)

All Scary stuff about how nasty Butyl Benzyl Phthalate is and how new research has proven that its really nasty and should be banned.
Well the industry agrees with you, its not good and it should be banned

Oh I forgot it already has been. A year ago (August 2006 to be precise) thanks to the EU, so no Daily Mail reader will be able to get their hands on it anyway
Thanks to the CTPA for being on the ball

And a comment to the author of the piece who is called David Derbyshire
Didn’t they teach you to at least check your facts before embarrassing yourself in print, or do you subscribe to the opinion that you don’t let the facts stand in the way of a good horror story.
Sir, You’re officially named “Gripper of the Week” , and you only get that accolade as I don’t think you’re intelligent enough to be a Wanker!