A study was conducted in May 2016 by HIT Laboratories, revealing consumers may be up to 266% more likely to purchase a beauty product if subjective claims are added to its description.
A subjective claim is one that consumers can judge for themselves, such as if they think the product made their skin softer. This is contrasted with an objective claim, which usually requires scientific measurements of results (such as actual measurements of their skin’s softness using a device).
Beauty Claims Study Results
In the study, survey respondents were shown an “anti-wrinkle complex” cream and short description. Some respondents saw the description alone, while other respondents also saw subjective claim study results.
When asked about their likelihood to purchase the product, the group that saw the claims was 60% more interested in purchasing the product, and 266% more likely to pay the $29.95 product price.
The effect of claims on different types of beauty products is being tested by HIT Laboratories. New study results are available at https://hitlaboratories.com/reports
FTC Regulations and Claims
Beauty product claim regulations are generally set by the Federal Trade Commission, which advises that all claims must have competent and reliable scientific evidence to support them.
The required extent of testing depends on the strength of the claims and the impact they would have on consumers, among other factors. Furthermore, claims that suggest the product can prevent, diagnose, treat, mitigate, or cure any disease would effectively classify the product as a drug instead of a cosmetic according to FDA policy.
How to Substantiate Claims
Several U.S. companies including HIT Laboratories provide claim substantiation services. For subjective claims like the ones tested in the survey, the tested product is typically provided to between 20 and 50 subjects who use it for a specified period. Their results are measured or recorded, analyzed, and compiled into a final report. The claims that can be made in advertising are based on the final results.
This article is intended for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.