Aussie beauty brand Clarisonic is getting hit with a $3 million fine from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission after allegedly misleading customers about the effectiveness of its products.
The company, which also sells skin cream and moisturisers, told the regulator it was able to identify and fix a few cosmetic defects before it became aware of the problem.
The regulator has slapped the company with a three-month fine and ordered it to refund customers $150 each.
The complaint against the cosmetics giant was lodged by consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog.
The organisation says the fine is the biggest it has ever imposed on a cosmetic company in Australia.
It’s the first time the watchdog has taken action against a cosmetics company in its 27-year history.
Clarisonics founder and CEO, Andrew Davenport, told ABC Radio Brisbane’s Breakfast program that the company had received “over a thousand complaints” in the past two years about the performance of its product, and the ACCC’s fine is an opportunity for Clarisonys to show it is acting within the law.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has confirmed to ABC News that it has made a number of complaints against the cosmetic giant, including the one lodged against Clarisonies.
It is believed that the consumer watchdog will consider the allegations against Clarisons products, and decide whether to take further action.
Consumer watchdog criticises Clarison’s products on ‘Beauty Skin Beauty Beauty Skin’ and ‘Beautys Skin Beauty Skin Beauty’ channel The ACCC also revealed that it had issued penalties against Clarys competitors for misleading consumers on its products and marketing materials.
In a statement to ABC Radio Queensland, the ACCCM said it was investigating the complaints.
“We take complaints very seriously, particularly regarding deceptive advertising and unfair competition, and we consider these matters carefully and appropriately,” ACCC director of consumer affairs, Angela Breen, said in a statement.
“The ACCC takes complaints very, very seriously.
We have made a lot of referrals in recent years and we are investigating a number.”
The ACCCM also confirmed that it will be taking a look at the cosmetics companies’ marketing materials and other communications in order to assess whether Clarison is acting lawfully and whether there are grounds for a further investigation.
The ACC’s director of regulatory affairs, Ian Anderson, said the ACC had received over a thousand consumer complaints about Clarisons marketing practices.
“It’s a matter that we have been looking at and investigating for some time, and it’s not an easy one,” he said.
Consumer watchdog’s complaints against Clarionys over cosmetics products have increased in recent months Clarison has been hit with complaints in the last year, according to ACCC documents. “
There are a lot, it’s probably over a hundred complaints we have received and we have heard from a number more than that.”
Consumer watchdog’s complaints against Clarionys over cosmetics products have increased in recent months Clarison has been hit with complaints in the last year, according to ACCC documents.
The consumer watchdog’s annual report on the ACC, released in June, found that it received 2,400 complaints against its marketing and marketing-related communications in 2016-17, up from 1,900 in 2015-16.
“Complaints by consumers have increased significantly, and consumer complaints have also been more prevalent in the context of the ACC’s current efforts to reform the industry,” ACCCC director of corporate affairs, Matthew Scott, said.
The watchdog also found that complaints from customers were the highest in six years.
“As we review these complaints, we are particularly mindful of the importance of providing customers with an informed choice about products and services,” Mr Scott said.
He said the regulator was also monitoring Clarisoni’s response to complaints and taking further action against those that broke the law, including those that had “no evidence of harm to the consumer”.
The ACCCC said it is reviewing all complaints it receives and will take action if it is “reasonably believed that there has been an infringement of a consumer right”.