The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland has upheld four complaints against an Irish beauty company who claimed its false eyelashes were cruelty-free.
In the ‘frequently asked questions’ section of Bia Belle Beauty’s website, the question “Are the lashes cruelty-free?” was answered, “Yes, all of our lashes are made cruelty-free”.
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The product description of their lash ranges included the following details: "handmade with love and care; reusable up to 20 times; cruelty-free”. What’s more, the description for the ‘Lolly’ lashes stated they were made using ‘faux mink’.
According to the ASAI, the complainants objected to the claim the mink lashes were ‘cruelty-free’; saying it was not possible for hair obtained from a mink – a wild animal – to be ‘cruelty-free’, as the animal was being caged.
The advertising regulator added, “One complainant referred to the fact the lashes were imported from China, where animal cruelty laws did not compare to those in the EU.”
Another complainant noticed discrepancies between what the company’s website said, and what was being advertised on its social media channels. It seems that in a conversation on Instagram, the advertisers said the ‘Lolly’ lashes were, in fact, mink.
The company’s response
Speaking to the ASAI, Bia Belle Beauty said they researched their supplier before importing them into Ireland; adding they even had an agent visit the supplier’s premises to ensure that everything was in order. They said they had spoken to their supplier in regards to the cruelty-free aspect of the mink hair and had obtained a certificate from them.
This certificate from the supplier, which was stamped and dated, said, “Our mink fur eyelash is made of 100% mink fur. The mink has not been killed, the hair is only cut down. It’s cruelty-free. We hereby certify!”
The company said it had not advertised their lashes under false pretences or set out to mislead anyone intentionally. According to a statement on the ASAI's website, the company felt it had carried out the correct procedures when researching the supplier.
In response to the complaint regarding the description for their ‘Lolly’ lashes, Bia Belle Beauty said referring to them as ‘faux mink’ was a genuine mistake, and that when it was pointed out to them they immediately corrected it.
Photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash