Following an inquiry by the National Advertising Division (NAD), L’Oréal USA made immediate modifications to three L’Oréal-owned websites, Makeup.com, Skincare.com, and Hair.com, to enhance and make it clear that the content is written by or on behalf of L’Oréal. The challenge arose from NAD’s routine monitoring program.
According to NAD, consumers should easily understand whether content they are viewing is an advertisement or editorial content. NAD was concerned that the three L’Oréal’s websites looked like publisher’s sites providing general information on how to improve one’s hair, skin, and makeup application through various articles, while also selling products to further those goals. NAD noted that upon initiation of this inquiry, the references to L’Oréal generally appeared at the bottom of the respective webpages, too far from the website logos and content. Thus, the websites did not ensure that, at first glance, consumers could perceive that the articles featuring reviews of various skincare and makeup products were, in fact, advertisements for L’Oréal products.
NAD noted that the advertiser immediately responded to NAD’s inquiry and explained that the full L’Oréal branding was meant to appear at the top of each webpage, integrated with the website name/logo. However, during revisions to the websites, the full disclosure was inadvertently dropped on some pages. L’Oréal undertook a thorough review of the three websites and added “By L’Oréal” directly below the Makeup.comand Skincare.com logos, and “Powered by L’Oréal” directly below Hair.com.
NAD determined that these disclosures are clear and conspicuous and inform consumers of L’Oréal’s ownership of the websites such that they understand that the content on the websites may be advertising. NAD appreciated L’Oréal’s immediate modifications to its websites to enhance and make it clear that the content is written by or on behalf of L’Oréal.
In its advertiser’s statement, L’Oréal stated that “as a strong supporter of the advertising self-regulation process, L’Oréal USA appreciates NAD’s thorough and thoughtful review of this matter. We remain committed to ensuring that our Makeup.com, Skincare.com, and Hair.com website properties always include clear and conspicuous branding.”