12 cosmetic companies served notices for ‘greenwashing’

Pakistan’s Competition Watchdog Targets Companies Over False “Organic” Marketing Tactics

An assortment of beauty products. — Canva
  • Investigation by CCP exposes “greenwashing” by 12 enterprises.
  • Advertisers tout supposedly “natural” goods with no proof.
  • Authorities warn such practices may endanger consumer health.

ISLAMABAD: The Beauty industry is under scrutiny as the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) hands out notices to 12 companies for allegedly misleading consumers with “greenwashing” tactics, branding their offerings as “organic or devoid of chemicals”.

A press release from the commission shed light on this issue, pointing to the deceptive promotional strategies employed by these cosmetics manufacturers and the action taken against their dubious claims.

According to the commission’s initial investigation, there is sufficient evidence to suggest these businesses are committing “greenwashing” by labeling their products with terms like “natural, organic, sustainable, pure, and chemical free”, despite lacking scientific backing for such claims.

The CCP highlights that such unvalidated promotional strategies are not just deceptive but could potentially harm users. By challenging these assertions through notices, the CCP is underscoring the need for ethical marketing practices that align with ecological preservation and consumer confidence.

The release also illuminates that these companies often exclude crucial facts about the chemicals in their beauty products on packaging and promotional content. They seemingly employ ambiguous terms, images, and labelling tactics to conceal synthetic or chemical constituents. As a result, misleading labels such as “100% Organic” and “Pakistan’s #1 Skincare Brand” attract consumers who are none the wiser.

The CCP reminds that under Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010, such misleading marketing is illegal.

With its mandate to promote fair competition for the benefit of consumers, the CCP insists that all marketing communications must be grounded in veracity, integrity, and authenticity to assist consumers in making informed choices.

“Marketing assertions should be backed by solid scientific research to prohibit the spread of misinformation to the public. Competition among companies should focus on the actual safety, innovation, value, and efficiency of their offerings,” the statement declared.

The commission reiterated its commitment to uphold the law, vowing to impose severe corrective measures inclusive of fines on any entity found guilty of such deceptive marketing strategies.

In its quest to foster fair competition and safeguard consumer rights in the beauty market, the CCP collaborates with consumers, producers, retailers, and other stakeholders.

Moreover, the CCP encourages consumer diligence and implores the public to report instances of deceptive advertising, false claims, or health complications encountered.

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