Modern society and the avalanche of seductive marketing across all type of media is resultant in many women being very aware of their personal presentation and beauty. In some cases, this can cause extreme pressure, but most of us like to indulge ourselves in the world of beauty and enjoy the rewards and reactions that we achieve from taking pride in our personal appearance and presentation.
But what happens when this goes wrong, when our favourite products are suddenly featured in the media amid lengthy litigation cases for adverse reactions, false representation and even accused of causing cancer and death? Imagine being one of those affected? But, does this make us any less likely to use the very same product, or something similar? I think it is dependent on the level of severity of the claims and the outcome of the cases.
Big brands being taken to court is becoming more and more common with the event of litigation funding and class action lawsuits. Were you even aware of these big brands being involved in litigation cases?
Jessica Alba – Honest Company
The Honest Company, co-founded by Jessica Alba, retails cleaning supplies and nappies that they claim to be more ecologically friendly, as they don’t contain harsh chemicals like their competitors products.
Sounds good so far, well until Honest were hit with a class action lawsuit which challenged whether the products were actually chemical free.
Jessica Alba is standing by her enterprise stating:
‘The allegations against us are baseless and without merit. We strongly stand behind our products and the responsibility we have to our consumers. We are steadfast in our commitment to transparency and openness,’
The Honest Company is accused of false advertising for misrepresentations relating to the Honest Sunscreen product range. It is claimed that the descriptions of the products were untrue and misleading. The claimant is fighting for an injunction, unspecified general and punitive damages and court costs, and for a trial by jury.
This case is still ongoing.
Johnson and Johnson – Talcum Powder
In a high-profile US court case a jury ordered Johnson and Johnson to pay damages of $72m after a woman died from ovarian cancer. Her family claimed that the company knew of the risks of talcum and failed to inform their customers.
The outcome of this case will open the flood gates for thousands more claims.
So is talc safe?
The use of talcum powder has raised concerns for years. In particular, the use of it around the genital area has been linked with a risk of cancer. That said the evidence of this is still inconclusive.
EOS – Lipbalm
Facebook went crazy when a picture was posted of a girl that claimed to have had an adverse reaction as a result of using an EOS lip balm. The plaintiff of the case, Rachael Cronin claimed that the EOS lip balm left her with severely cracked, bleeding, blistering and flaking lips after just hours of its first use.
The outcome of this swift class action case saw EOS prove that their lip balms are hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested to the highest level. However, in a bid to do the right thing the company has updated its packaging and included more information about the product for the consumer.
Using these three cases as a guide the only one that has really changed my judgement of the brand is the case of Johnson and Johnson and probably because of the severity of the outcome of the claim. However the question should be raised, if there has been carcinogenic doubts over talc why didn’t someone step in and stop it being used years ago? This suggests to me that the scientific findings still remain inconclusive.
How do you feel about these brands and products now? Would you use one of them, none of them or some of them? Tell us in the comments.