Toxic hair scare: Brazilian hair treatment products

Posted 24 April 2014

Top South African hairstylists and consumer groups have called for researchers to name and shame six popular Brazilian hair treatment products containing almost five times the legal limit of the carcinogenic chemical formaldehyde.  On Tuesday Nonhlanhla Khumalo, the UCT dermatology department associate professor who led the study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatologists in February

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Glomail Celltone – ASA Ruling

Posted 21 April 2014

A consumer laid a complaint against Celltone’s advert stating inter alia, the wording “Celltone has been on the market for over 10 years and has thousands of loyal customers.”  The ASA concluded that the complaint at hand cannot currently be properly considered and ruled on. “The Directorate is therefore not in a position to determine whether or not the removal of the claim would be an adequate resolution.”

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Antagolin – ASA ruling

Posted 11 April 2014

Make no mistake, the evidence for Antagolin being an effective weight loss / insulin resistance treatment is not robust at all. There is no study published on this product, no evidence that the ingredients are effective, and now, the products is actually an illegal medicine for CAM regulations published will not permit it as a CAM, and it is not registered as a medicine.

Read this ASA ruling with our deconstruction to see why we call this product a scam.

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Rayma Balance Bracelet removed from SA

Posted 11 April 2014

According to  the company, the Rayma Balance Bracelet will not longer be sold in South Africa! However, can we believe Mr Mervyn Daitz of Topline Innovations? This is not the only scam he has been responsible for.

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Aminoliq – still no evidence it works

Posted 01 April 2014

The claims for Aminoliq has previously been ruled against by the ASA for the company could not prove that the product could really do as claimed. Despite an assurance from the owner, Norman Fells, that he would no longer make the claims, the company has recently produced a number of variants and started making unsubstantiated claims again. Can one not trust Norman Fells? Worse, Norman is treasurer of the HPA (Health Products Association of South Africa). Oops!!

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Erex – ASA ruling

Posted 30 March 2014

This is an old ASA ruling. Erex is a product that claims to assist men by making them “Hard and healthy …naturally” and to benefit and “boost your sex life…”.  A complaint was laid with the ASA in 2007 against these claims and Erex were not able to prove that they are possible, yet Dischem still continues to sell this product today. Now that is  a long life for a scam!

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Weight-Loss Products – Hoodia

Posted 25 March 2015

Jasmine and Chris Grindlay of Slimbetti have been promoting their Hoodia Gel scam product in South Africa and simply ignoring ASA rulings. Other countries have had similar problems although in many this scam has disappeared off the market.

I have recently come across this article titled “The Controversial Advertising case: Weight-Loss Product— Hoodia” - “Marketing advertising and public policy” published December 19, 2011.

The article makes the point:

“Hoodia was one of the weight loss products that was advertised as a natural and effective remedy by Nutraceuticals International and Stella Labs. Nutraceuticals International and Stella Labs are the suppliers of the ingredient Hoodia gordonii (hoodia), and they claim that consumers are able to lose weight and suppress appetites by using hoodia, which is found in Southern Africa. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as a significant regulatory agency in preventing unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the marketplace for the protection of consumers, charged both companies with false and deceptive advertising in violation of Section 5 and 12 of the FTC Act.”

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The portrayal of slimness through design

Posted 25 March 2014

This research article, titled “The portrayal of slimness through design : an analysis of a misleading weight loss advertisement : research article” written by Rudi De Lange, Tshwane University of Technology, was published in the South African Journal of Art History (2013;28(2):72-84. 

The abstract reads:

The portrayal of the ultra-thin ideal model in the media contributes to body discontent amongst some viewers of the intended target groups. This in its turn may lead to excessive weight concerns and so create a vulnerable group that is primed for commercial exploitation. Advertising designers exploit this vulnerable population through the use of visceral imagery and text in misleading weight loss advertisements in order to better market their products. The ultra-thin models used in weight loss advertisements act as strong emotional cues and enable advertisers to influence even wary consumers to respond to these cues. This case study analysis of a weight loss advertisement highlights and illustrates how designers proceeded to create an elusive promise of slimness by misrepresenting scientific data and employed misleading textual and graphic cues in order to create an effective but nonetheless misleading advertisement.


Live Blood Analysis quack sentenced

Posted 24 March 2014

This UK article (March 20, 2014) reports on Live Blood Analysis quack Errol Denton who was handed a £19,000* court bill.

The Ilford Recorder reported:

Denton, who did not attend court and was not represented, was ordered to pay a total of £19,101 in fines and prosecution costs at Westminster Magistrates Court.

He was found guilty of nine offences after a trial, a rare prosecution under The Cancer Act 1939, which prohibits advertisements offering to treat or to cure cancer.

Errol Denton also featured prominently in the UK ASA ruling: “ASA Adjudication on Live Blood Test”

Live Blood Analysis? It doesn’t work

Posted 13 March 2014

Edzard Ernst is professor of complementary medicine at the Peninsula medical school at the universities of Exeter and Plymouth. In this article published in The Guardian in 2005, Prof Ernst points out that the claims are nonsense, i.e., this test is no more than a scam. In fact, this is not new – the claims being made for this test in 2014 were rubbished as far back as 1980s!

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