Summary of Action

TINA.org investigated WillaGirl, Inc. (“willa®”) and found that, as of December 2014, it was using a number of deceptive marketing tactics to promote its line of skincare products to young girls. Specifically, TINA.org found that the company was claiming its products are:

  • “all natural” when, in fact, they contain artificial colors, petroleum-derived ingredients, and synthetic preservatives;
  • “safe for sensitive skin” and appropriate for use with eczema when, in fact, several products contain allergens and irritants;
  • “made lovingly in the USA” when, in fact, some products contain extracts from plants that do not grow in North America.

TINA.org also found that the company prominently warned on its homepage that “Dermatologists say that up to 80% of lasting damage happens by age 18,” when, in reality, the average lifetime sun exposure that occurs by age 18 is less than 23%, according to The Skin Cancer Foundation.

As a result of these findings, TINA.org sent a letter to the company’s founder and CEO, Christy Prunier, on December 8, 2014 alerting her to the issues and requesting that the company make timely changes to its marketing materials so that its advertising complies with all applicable state and federal laws.

Upon receiving the letter, Ms. Prunier contacted TINA.org and indicated that her company would be making some marketing changes.  As of February 2015, the company had made some changes to its website, including the removal of the phrases “all natural” and “safe for sensitive skin.” 

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