Consumers will be better protected from claims about a 'soothing concentrate' whose producer makes claims about its effect on the appearance of cellulite after Australian Competition and Consumer Commission intervention.

"The ACCC has received a court-enforceable undertaking from the Australian company, Pierre Fabre Pty Ltd", ACCC Chairman, Professor Allan Fels, said today. "Pierre Fabre made representations about Cellu-stop, a 'soothing concentrate' women put on their thighs. Cellu-stop was claimed to have a positive effect on the appearance of cellulite.

"The ACCC is concerned about products that say they have an effect on cellulite, particularly when the company marketing and promoting the product does not have reasonable grounds for making the representations. These products are expensive and create unrealistic expectations for consumers.

"Some consumers are very sensitive about their body image and products that claim to enhance a person's physical appearance target these people. Representations about a characteristic of a product must be based on reasonable grounds".

The ACCC was alerted to the Cellu-stop representations in the course of investigating other cellulite products.

On the Cellu-stop packaging were the following representations:

'In 14 days visible reduction of Cellulite'

'Visible reduction of cellulite'; and

'All products of the Galenic Laboratories are systematically tested in Research centre by doctors and pharmacists, and each production batch is subjected to stringent control to guarantee good product tolerance'.

Pierre Fabre has agreed:

  • not to represent the effect the 'active ingredient' Elancyl in Cellu-stop has on cellulite;
  • to provide refunds to any consumer who subsequently complains about Cellu-stop in respect of its effect on cellulite;
  • to relabel the packaging and container so that no such representation is made; and
  • to undertake a compliance program.

This undertaking should serve as a warning to any business that makes health claims, particularly those who point to scientific studies to support the claims. The claims must have a firm foundation. Extravagant and unproven claims can be misleading. Makers of such claims risk court action by the ACCC.