Ad Alert

Transitions Lenses

Transitions lenses are marketed as changing tint in a flash— leaving consumers in the dark about how long it actually takes.

Remember when you’d go to the toy store as a kid and the toys with the most promising packaging turned out to be the greatest disappointments once you got home and pried open the package? Unfortunately, the disappointment that comes from being duped by the flashy marketing of, say, an awesome-looking wind-up fighter jet that just pitter patters along the kitchen floor, doesn’t end when you grow up.

Case in point: The following TV ad for Transitions lenses. The lenses are made from photochromic material, which becomes opaque in the presence of UV rays, and clear in their absence, turning a single pair of ordinary glasses into sunglasses and vice versa. In the ad, the lenses are shown to change from dark to light and back again almost instantly.

A consumer pointed out to us that the lenses in the company’s advertisements change opacity at a much faster rate than they do in reality. While Transitions addresses this in the fine print of the ad above, stating “Lens changes accelerated for demonstration purposes,” it doesn’t indicate exactly how long the lenses can take to go from dark to light.

An FAQ on the Transitions site states that at 72 degrees, it takes about five minutes for the lenses to go from 88 percent tint to 40 percent tint in the absence of UV rays, such as when walking inside, as compared to the approximate one second it takes in the ad.

It’s like the fighter jet all over again.

Read more about our coverage on eyewear here.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

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