Proctor & Gamble (P&G) has agreed to pay US$850,000 in civil penalties and costs to settle a consumer-protection action, which accused the FMCG giant of packaging its Olay products with excessive ‘slack fill’.
Slack fill, or the use of oversized packaging to make products appear to contain more than their stated contents, is classified as false advertising and prohibited by Californian law.
The action was bought by prosecutors in the District Attorney’s Offices of Yolo, Fresno, Shasta and Riverside counties of California. The four DA Offices will receive US$194,000 each plus US$12,000 for costs.
The terms of the settlement did not require P&G to admit any wrongdoing but the cosmetics manufacturer has since launched an evaluation of its products and pledged to repackage the skin care line.
District Attorney Reisig praised the settlement. “Our office remains vigilant and committed to consumer protection and to ensuring that consumers are not misled in their purchases by misrepresentations and false advertising,” said Reisig. “We are gratified that Proctor and Gamble recognized the issue, and is committed to changing its packaging.”