Jessica Alba sets herself up as a supermom businesswoman who wants every mom to have all-natural products to protect their kids. But a new lawsuit is the second PR scandal Alba’s The Honest Company has faced this year and it’s looking like her company is neither as honest nor as natural as the actress would like us to believe.
This latest crisis is a class action lawsuit filed by consumer Jonathon D Rubin who accuses Jessica Alba’s company of deceptive and misleading labeling and marketing for calling her products “natural.” In the suit, Rubin also mentions the other big crisis – the sunburn fail. More on that in a minute. The lawsuit lists a handful of synthetics, preservatives and additives that are in Honest Company products.
If true, that doesn’t sound quite so natural, does it? The lawsuit asks for all profits from the mislabeled products to be refunded to customers who purchased them – including the allegedly faulty sunscreen. The mislabeling is bad enough, if true, but the sunburn stuff is downright scary. The Honest Company marketed an SPF 30 sunscreen which many consumers say did not provide the promised protection.
Many people posted photos of burned skin on Twitter – both adults and their kids – and related how they applied it according to directions, and even applied more often than directions required – but were still burned. The Honest Company said they tweaked the formula and said while it met the minimum standards before, now meets more than the minimum. Hmm. So are all those crispy consumers lying?
The sunscreen in question is also part of Rubin’s class action lawsuit. The sunscreen has bad reviews on Amazon as does The Honest Company’s diaper rash cream which several reviewers said not only did not help treat their baby’s diaper rash, but made it worse. One reviewer wrote (TMZ): “In all honesty I think this company tries to make their things as natural as possible but everything sucks!” Ouch!
Jessica Alba has built a billion dollar brand based on being “honest” but how honest is Alba and her company? Based on these allegations, it seems like some of the products are not all-natural and others may be all-natural, but also seem to be ineffective, according to consumer reviews. Will The Honest Company weather this lawsuit and come out on the other side with its brand reputation intact?
Or is Jessica Alba’s business and personal brand doomed to the clearance bins and eventually an “out of business” sign? A recent Forbes article lists Alba as one of the richest self-made women in America, but what exactly is her “self” made of? Is it natural goodness or is it natural deception? This situation will be one to watch. If Alba is showing the same good judgment with her business decisions as she did choosing movie scripts, I shudder to think about it…
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