SAN DIEGO (CN) – Dial pushes its “Body Wash” soap with bogus claims that it contains pheromones that attract women, a customer claims in a federal class action.
Lead plaintiff Frank Ortega says: “On defendants’ promotional web site about the products, defendants state: ‘We’re not saying that our new pheromone-enhanced body wash will cause you to be attacked by hordes of sex-crazed females, but if that is your endgame, you should consider it a piece of the equation not to be ignored.'”
The complaint continues with a list alarming claims that Dial makes for its soap:
“Defendants’ claim the pheromone androstadienone is in the products. Defendants do not inform consumers of whether the androstadienone in the Products is synthetic or real. Androstadienone is a normally occurring pheromone in human body sweat. …
“Defendants products’ web site represents, via an animated singing molecule, that after a woman senses a man’s pheromones with her vomeronasal organ, she responds by releasing catecholamine, which triggers dopamine release, making her more sexually receptive to men.
“Defendants’ representations about androstadienone are, in fact, false, deceptive and misleading because, among other reasons, human beings do not possess a functioning vomeronasal organ.
“Further, the few studies about androstadienone that resulted in an effect on female attraction were small, poorly designed, and used concentrations of the ingredient as much as a million times higher than what occurs naturally.”
Ortega sued The Dial Corp., Henkel Consumer Goods, and two other Henkel entities. He wants them enjoined from continuing their “deceptive and false advertising message.”
Dial advertises its soap with a number of attention-grabbing phrases, the complaint states, including “Pheromone-Infused, Attraction Enhancing Body Wash,” and “Magnetic.” The ads state: “‘You don’t need the help, but it doesn’t hurt to increase your odds. Dial® for Men Magnetic”! body wash is clean rinsing and moisture rich, so you get a great clean without drying your skin, and leaves you smelling so good women can’t help but notice,'” according to the complaint.
The complaint continues: “The back of the Products’ label, under Directions, states ‘1. Squeeze Magnetic body wash onto a washcloth, sponge, poof, hands – whatever. 2. Lather up. 3. rinse off. 4. Stand back and watch the magic happen.'”
Ortega seeks an injunction, corrective advertising, costs, and damages for consumer law violations and unfair competition.
He is represented by Craig Sean Mellon of San Diego and Jeffrey Salas with Salas Wang of Chicago.
Henkel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.