By Sean McLernon
Although Chow used the products as instructed, she saw none of the advertised benefits, according to the suit.
All of the products mentioned in the suit contain retinol, a form of vitamin A that is a common ingredient in creams and lotions that claim to make a user look younger, the complaint says. Scientific research regarding the effects of retinol on aging, however, remain “incomplete and inconclusive,” the suit contends.
“Even if there existed well-settled, scientific substantiation that retinol-based topical applications like the products can make a person look younger or prevent and repair wrinkles, fine lines, age spots or other signs of aging within one week (there is not), the dosage of retinol in the products is so negligible as to make it impossible to cause the advertised effect,” the lawsuit said.
The advertising industry self-regulator of the Council of Better Business Bureau chided Neutrogena in January over its claims that its wrinkle repair products could stop wrinkles in seven days, recommending that the company modify or discontinue its advertising for the products in order to “avoid the unsupported message that wrinkles are substantially reduced or eliminated in one week.”
Counsel for Neutrogena were not immediately available for comment Friday.
There is a similar putative class action against Neutrogena pending in California state court, but that case is narrower in scope because it only mentions two of the six products involved and does not bring any claims under California’s False Advertising Law, according to the motion.
“In light of the broader scope of this case as compared to [the state case], as well as the fact that the parties reside in the Central District of California, this court is the most desirable forum in which to concentrate the litigation of the class claims,” the motion said.
The six Neutrogena products listed in the federal suit are Rapid Wrinkle Repair SPF 30, Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night, Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum, Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye, Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream SPF 15 and Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream Night.
Chow is represented by Ryan J. Clarkson and Edward D. Dubendorf of Red Law Firm.
Neutrogena is represented by Richard B. Goetz, Jaclyn Blankenship and Matthew D. Powers of O’Melveny & Myers LLP.
The case is Mara Chow v. Neitrogena Corp. et al., case number 2:12-cv-04624 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
–Editing by Eydie Cubarrubia.
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