Biologi to “Keep Stockists Updated” After Being Issued a Court Order for Misleading Claims

This week, Australian skincare brand Biologi was placed in the spotlight after receiving a Court Order that cited the brand as producing misleading claims in its marketing campaigns. Several allegations had been made against the brand, including misrepresentation of organic certification, ingredient claims, and statements about the purity and composition of its products.

The news first broke last weekend when Biologi issued a statement via its Instagram and website. Professional Beauty’s New Zealand-based sister publication ProCollective shared the news.

Proceedings were initiated by Native Extracts, an Australian plant extract manufacturer, which was founded in 2012 by Biologi founder Ross Macdougald’s former girlfriend and business partner, Lisa Carroll.

According to the corrective notice ordered by the Federal Court of Australia, Biologi engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and made false or misleading representations in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law. The order also stated, Macdougald was knowingly concerned with these contraventions.

The Australian Financial Review also reported, Carroll hired chemists at the University of Queensland to analyse Mr Macdougald’s products – which were marketed as fruit extracts – and found two were 70 to 80 per cent glycerol, a compound made from vegetable oils or fats.

Professional Beauty reached out to Biologi, to which a representative from the brand replied:

“While proceedings will be ongoing, the impact on current products and marketing is minimal, with most of these issues being resolved on the departure of historical marketing teams.  

We will also keep our stockists updated as further action is taken with respect to the proceedings.  The decisions highlight the importance of protecting intellectual property, foundational claims and our commitment to continual improvement, as well as the challenges and responsibilities of industry-leading startups.

We thank our many stakeholders in the industry during this challenging time and the pragmatic and understanding approach adopted by our many supporters.”

Professional Beauty interviewed the founders of Biologi in 2020. Read more here.

In its public statement, Biologi acknowledged its transgressions and issued an apology to its customers:

“Recently Biologi has received a Court Order related to certain ingredients in our products and claims made in our marketing materials, specifically questioning our Vitamin C levels in two products and plant-based materials,” the statement read. “In response to these legal findings, we want to emphasise our unwavering commitment to product efficacy, safety, and transparency. We take these findings seriously and have been actively working to address any issues and make any necessary adjustments required.”

Biologi also commented on harassment online by those looking to discredit the brand, alluding to another “party” they previously had a “valued relationship” with:

“We have also been made aware that you may have been contacted or harassed online by others wanting to discredit Biologi. We want to apologise for any frustration or confusion this has caused, and for not being given the opportunity to be the ones to notify you. It is unfortunate that the other party has tried to undermine our valued relationship.”

Biologi was founded by Macdougald in 2017, who also founded Phytoverse and is the Chairman of Plant Extracts. According to Biologi’s website, the brand was born as a result of Macdougald’s frustration at the low levels of plant actives added to products, often only for marketing and labelling claims. Today, Biologi is stocked in a number of Australian and New Zealand beauty salons.

For detailed analysis on the findings, read ProCollective’s report here.

This article was produced in collaboration with ProCollective.

Image source: En-Route

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