Nivea must correct false slimming cream claims

Canada's Competition Bureau is ordering the maker of Nivea to stop making inaccurate claims about one of its products.

Canada's Competition Bureau is ordering the manufacturer of Nivea to stop making inaccurate claims about one of its products.

Nivea advertised that regular use of its My Silhouette product slims and reshapes the body, and in some cases, helps take off up to the three centimeters on targeted areas such as thighs, hips, waist and belly.

The Competition Bureau said the claims are not backed up by adequate and proper testing, contrary to the Competition Act.

As part of an agreement announced two weeks ago, Beiersdorf, Nivea's Canadian distributor, agreed it did not contest this conclusion.

But the Bureau said Thursday that in statements to the media, in a news release and on the website, the company said the performance claims and testing were supported by independent research.

"Beiersdorf Canada Inc. is required to take immediate action to ensure compliance with the Consent Agreement to ensure that no future violations occur," Melanie Aitken, Commissioner of Competition, said in a statement.

Beiersdorf agreed to remove the offending statement.

The bureau said it will continue to monitor compliance with the agreement.

Under its terms, Beiersdorf was required to:

  • Refund the purchase price and shipping costs to Canadian customers.
  • Immediately remove the products from Canadian shelves.
  • Pay an administrative penalty of $300,000.
  • Publish a corrective notice on Nivea's Canadian website and in major Canadian newspapers.
  • Pay $80,000 to cover costs associated with the Bureau's investigation.