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SOSU founder Suzanne Jackson falls foul of advertising watchdog for ‘misleading’ post

The ASAI said the complainant considered the post to be misleading and they agreed
Suzanne Jackson

Suzanne Jackson

Suzanne Jackson

Suzanne Jackson

Suzanne Jackson

Suzanne Jackson

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

A complaint about a post on the Instagram account for beauty entrepreneur Suzanne Jackson and her hit SOSU make up brand has been upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland.

According to the ASAI, the complaint featured a well-known fashion model.

It referred to a post that added: “How stunning does (name of model) look wearing our eye voltage mascara and black kohl pencil. Tap to shop the look or visit…”

The post was accompanied by images of both products.

However, the complainant said that the post suggested that the model’s dramatic eye look had been created by her using the mascara and kohl pencil featured, when in fact she was wearing false eyelashes.

The ASAI said the complainant considered the post to be misleading and they agreed.

In response, the advertisers said that while they acknowledged and appreciated the concerns raised by the complainant, they had never insinuated that the model was not wearing false eyelashes.

Suzanne Jackson

Suzanne Jackson

The advertisers said that the model was wearing a black smoky eye which had been created by applying the Eye Voltage Mascara and black kohl pencil. They said that the Voltage Mascara was used on the model’s top eyelashes which helped to blend the model’s natural lash into the false eyelash. The mascara had been applied to her bottom eyelashes. In conjunction with this, they said the black kohl pencil had been smoked out either side of her eyes and under the bottom lash line to create the ‘cat eye’ effect.

The advertisers said while they appreciated that it had not been clearly outlined in the Instagram caption that the model was wearing false eyelashes, they reiterated that they had never denied that she was. In their response, they enclosed a copy of their response to a comment on Instagram in which they had been asked if the model was wearing false eyelashes? and they had responded that ‘yes’, she was.

In their conclusion, the ASAI explained why the complaint was being upheld.

"The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.

“The Committee noted that the product description indicated that the mascara was intended to volumise, lengthen and curl lashes and they considered that consumers would expect to experience similar results to those shown in the advertising. The Committee considered that the fact that the model was wearing false lashes was relevant information that should have been referred to in the post. As this information had not been included, the Committee considered that the advertising was likely to mislead by omission and was in breach of Section 4.1 of the Code.”

They said the advertisement should not appear in the same format again.

Dublin businesswoman Jackson is one of Ireland’s best known beauty influencers thanks to her hugely successful SOSUbySJ make up line and tan range.

The ASAI's latest Complaints Bulletin contains 16 case reports on complaints recently investigated by the organisation.

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In total, 14 advertisements across social media, email and online were found to be in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds related to a range of issues including Misleading, Principles, Health and Beauty, Gambling, Alcoholic Drinks and Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages.

Some 11 of the 16 cases were upheld and three were upheld in part.

Another complaint referred to a man on a paddle board in an advertisement for Lidl.

The complainant considered the man featured on the paddle board not wearing a life jacket was against the law.

Suzanne Jackson

Suzanne Jackson

They considered that the ad could encourage people to not wear a lifejacket when using watercrafts which may result in loss of life. The ASAI also upheld this complaint.

The Complaints Committee is an independent arm of the ASAI and is responsible for considering and adjudicating on complaints submitted by the public, by an organisation, by a Government Department, or any other person or body.

The Committee is made up of a range of experts from the advertising, media, education, consumer, and marketing sectors.

Orla Twomey, Chief Executive, said: “The latest complaints bulletin from the ASAI shows that we have an important role in ensuring that advertisers in Ireland adhere to the advertising code.

“The ASAI monitors advertisements and marketing communications regularly to ensure that they are legal, truthful, decent, and honest, prepared with a sense of social responsibility to the consumer and society and with proper respect for the principles of fair competition.”

“The ASAI provides a free and confidential copy advice service to the advertising industry to help them create responsible ads. If an advertiser, agency, or medium has any concerns about a marketing communications’ compliance with the ASAI’s Code, they can contact us and avail of the free and confidential copy advice service.”

This article has been amended from the original.

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