P&G to pay fine over SK-II in China

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[Nanchang, China] Procter & Gamble Co. has agreed to pay a 200,000 yuan fine-about $24,000-imposed by the Commercial and Industrial Bureau in China's Jiangxi Province, following a 20-day investigation into a lawsuit filed by a consumer in Nanchang city. Lu Ping claimed that the SK-II anti-aging De-Wrinkle Essence she bought for $100 didn't live up to ads calling it a "miracle water" that can make skin look 12 years younger in 28 days. Instead, she said the product caused a painful allergic reaction. Ms. Lu's case, which could still develop into a national class action suit, also names the department store where she bought the product and SK-II's spokeswoman, the Hong Kong film star Carina Lau. SK-II, a premium skin-care brand P&G picked up in Japan through its global acquisition of Max Factor in 1991, sells at high-end retail outlets and department stores throughout Asia and some U.S. and European cities. P&G and its agency, Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett, declined to comment, but a P&G spokesman has said publicly that P&G's products are safe and that the only issue is the brand's advertising.
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