Warning: Photos in this story could be disturbing for some.
Procter & Gamble is facing a class-action lawsuit tied to its Old Spice deodorant.
A Virginia man claims that after using the deodorant he suffered skin irritation including severe rashes, burning and discomfort, according to court documents.
In the lawsuit, the victim, Rodney Colley, released photos of the rashes he received after he allegedly used the deodorant.
Colley claims the incident is not isolated, and similar occurrences are widely reported by consumers online.
On the consumer ratings website Consumeraffairs.com, Old Spice has a one-star satisfaction rating. Recent reviews on the website state many of the same issues that Colley faced.
Below are examples from posts made in March:
"My 16-year old thought he had a heat rash (granted it is not hot outside, cool temps) under his armpits. He was really hurting to the point he wanted to stay home. He showed me what was under his armpits, I was mortified! It looked like a second degree burn under both armpits. The only thing he uses is Old Spice deodorant, Swagger fragrance. I had him immediately stop using the deodorant, and after about a week the rash/burn went away. Both my husband and my other son use this brand, but we will be changing their deodorant as well."
"I have used this product for many yrs, then it started to blister my left armpit. I switched to something different, but I love the smell of pure sport, so I bought a new one just to try it again and it burnt my arms again. Then 3 wks ago I got to work and realized I forgot to put on deodorant so I remember I had pure sport in my locker so I used it and sure enough the next morning I was all blistered up again."
Procter & Gamble has refuted these claims, stating "Millions of guys use Old Spice each year and significantly less than one percent report having any adverse reactions," according to Public Relations Director of Men's Grooming Damon Jones.
P&G released a statement to FOX19 NOW on Wednesday:
“The safety of the men who use Old Spice is the foundation of everything we do. We go to great lengths to ensure our products are safe to use, and tens of millions of men use this product with confidence and without incident every year. A small number of men may experience irritation due to alcohol sensitivity, a common ingredient across virtually all deodorant products. For men who have experienced a reaction to a deodorant, an antiperspirant may be a better option because they have a different formulation. If anyone using Old Spice has questions, we encourage them to call us at 1-800-677-7582.
In an case unrelated to P&G, an advertising self-regulatory body contended regarding consumeraffairs.com that “the site creates biased and negative portrayals of companies that don’t pay for its service called ConsumerAffairs for Brands. For a fee, this service helps companies collect positive reviews through social media, targeted phone calls, emails and feedback cards. Those solicited reviews are then used as a basis for ConsumerAffairs.com’s rating of the company. A paying company also has access to ConsumerAffair’s dispute resolution process with consumers, which can also affect the company’s ratings.
For absolute clarity, in no way are we discounting any individual consumer experience, but I don’t want to unfairly portray this as a growing trend or alarm consumers about the safety of a product which millions of guys use and enjoy every day. "