Several companies fined for false or misleading advertisements

Hu Min
Several companies have been fined for false or misleading advertising of their products. Fines ranged in the six and seven figures in yuan.
Hu Min

Cosmetics retailer Sephora has been fined 400,000 yuan (US$62,695) by the city's market regulators for false advertisement, authorities revealed on Wednesday.

The company was determined to be fabricating the effect of Caudalie Premier CRU on Sephora's online flagship store, according to the Shanghai Administration for Market Regulation.

It claimed "the cream has significant effect after only several days of use, which is most obvious in jawline improvement," which is groundless as well, the administration said.

Caudalie, which was involved in the design of the ad content, was fined 400,000 yuan as well.

Their acts violate China's advertisement laws, the administration said.

The administration exposed 10 cases of false advertisement on Wednesday.

In another case, IKEA China was fined more than 1.7 million yuan.

Lightbox advertising released by the Swedish company at Shanghai's subway stations claimed its GUNRID curtains had an air purification effect.

However, the effect could only be achieved under ideal, very specific experimental conditions, and only certain pollutants were targeted according to its report, the administration discovered.

Also, the real environment in daily life is far from an experimental situation, making the purification effect impossible in practice, according to the administration.

The function was a decisive factor for consumers when they made the purchase, investigators found.

The ads were released at Shanghai's Metro stations and on the e-commerce platform Xiaohongshu, with the advertisement fee totaling 575,000 yuan.

Meanwhile, Freshippo Shanghai was fined 500,000 yuan.

The amount of protein of a rice product sold by the company fell far short of the national standard that earns the tag "rich in protein," according to the administration.

The company also promoted the rice's health and medical treatment functions, which violates advertisement regulations as well, the administration said.

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