Salon Only Myth

Salon FAD is a group of salons that have banded together to fight cosmetic retail giants from diverting their trade. Salon FAD v. L'Oreal USA Inc., S.D.N.Y. No. 1:10-cv-05063-DLC. Large cosmetic retailers, like L'Oreal, market many products that include the words, "Salon-only" on their packaging, despite the fact that many of these products are retailed through large discount chains like CVS. L'Oreal argued that FAD's injuries were not fairly traceable to this practice, a standing requirement. The court disagreed stating that consumers are likely to pay a premium for products so marked because they associate them with professional expertise; therefore, because they are available for purchase outside of salons, the practice had damaged FAD's reputation. To prevail on the false advertising claim, FAD had to show that the advertising was indeed false, or likely to mislead consumers. L'Oreal argued that because "salon-only" refers only to its marketing channels, like "As seen on TV," it is not an inherent characteristic of the products. The court found that the words "salon-only" was sufficiently related to the material characteristics of the products by implying that they are superior to others. While the court appears right in this, how many consumers have purchased products labeled "salon-only" only to be disappointed because they lack the professional skills to make the product perform like a salon professional?

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