If you didn't know L’Oréal owned Makeup.com, now you probably will
Generic-sounding sites Makeup.com, Skincare.com and Hair.com have been search optimization, content marketing and e-commerce engines for L’Oréal for as long as a decade. But it wasn’t always clear to visitors that the sites and their content were bought and paid for by the world’s biggest beauty marketer. Now, in the wake of a National Advertising Division inquiry, the disclosures are far more prominent.
In a decision announced today, the National Advertising Division noted that the L’Oréal sites generally looked like publisher sites providing general beauty information, while also selling products. “Upon initiation of this inquiry, the references to L’Oréal generally appeared at the bottom of the respective webpages, too far from the website logos and content,” so consumers couldn’t immediately tell “articles featuring reviews of of various skincare and makeup products were, in fact, advertisements for L’Oréal products.”
The NAD said L’Oréal immediately responded to its inquiry and explained that “full L’Oréal branding was meant to appear at the top of each webpage, integrated with the website name/logo” but that the disclosures were “inadvertently dropped on some pages” during revisions to the websites.
L’Oréal has since added “By L’Oréal” or “Powered by L’Oréal” directly below website logos, the NAD said. And, as of this morning, those disclosures also appear on bylines for individual articles.
In an advertiser statement, L’Oréal said: “We remain committed to ensuring that our Makeup.com, Skincare.com, and Hair.com website properties always include clear and conspicuous branding.”
L’Oréal paid more than $1 million for the makeup.com domain name 10 years ago, purchasing hair.com for an undisclosed sum five years later and making it the hub for e-commerce sales of its salon brands last year. But relinquishing a bit of its hold on the web’s generic beauty destinations, L’Oréal sold top-level domains .hair, .beauty, .skin and .makeup earlier this year.