Dr Auer’s Base Powder – Liar, liar, pants on ….
Posted 19 July 2013
What do Solal and Dr Auer’s Base Powder have in common? Two things: both flagrantly ignore ASA rulings, and, although the ASA ruled against the claims being made for this product in 5 September 2003, they are making the same claims in the July-August 2013 issue of Solal’s Health Intelligence Magazine (Edition 22). Then we know that Solal cannot be trusted – either their science or their ethics. Indeed, in the same issue is an advert for Solal’s Breast Protection Formula with the line “there are nutrients and plant extracts that can help protect your breasts…”, yet they could not prove their claims with the ASA ruling against the claims being made for this product.
Here is the advert that was issued in the magazine:
And here is the previous ASA ruling:
|Dr Auer”s Base Powder Sport / M R Jobson / 278
Ruling of the : ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
Dr M Roy Jobson Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)
AAPO-SPA SA (Pty) Ltd Respondent
5 September 2003
A consumer, Dr Jobson, lodged an objection to the radio commercials featured on Radio 702 and the web page advertising for Dr Auer’s Base Powder and Dr Auer’s Base Powder Sport. Dr Jobson subsequently supplemented his complaint to include further objections to point of sale and web page material.
The advertising material includes, inter alia, the following claims:
1. Dr Auer’s Base Powder “reduces the risk of disease”
2. Dr Auer’s Base Powder Sport “reduces the formation of lactic acid”
3. “Gain vitality, ease backache, lose weight, stop gout attacks, decrease cholestrol (sic) levels, normalise digestion, eat less, sleep better, have more stamina, decrease stress, improve your skin and reduce your allergies.”
4. “Dr Auer’s Base Powder Sport reduces lactic acid, optimizes performance and promotes regeneration.”
The complainant submitted that multiple medicinal claims are made for these products. It is medically incorrect to ascribe the problems referred to in the advertising material to the effects of acid in such a generic and non-specific way. The complainant advised that to the best of his knowledge neither of the products in question is registered as a medicine, yet both make medicinal claims.
In his amplified complaint the complainant called for evidence that the word “Dr” in the name of the product was established prior to 1 July 1947, and for evidence that the required warnings in terms of the Code appear on the product label. The complainant submitted that the packaging creates the impression that the product is a registered medicine and that the point of sale poster implies that the various ailments and diseases listed can be “cured”.
The complainant submitted that the references to super-acidity appeal to fear and exploitation of credulity; that the point of sale poster refers to diseases listed in Appendix F of the Code; that the poster and web-page refer to the product in terms calculated to lead to its use for the treatment of arthritis, or chronic or persistent rheumatism. He called upon the advertiser to supply proof that the claims were submitted to the MCC. He stated that the combined effect of the advertising is that good health can be improved by using the product; that the advertising causes consumers unwarranted anxiety; that the advertising encourages consumers to make a self-diagnosis; that the advertising misleads as to the nature of the product and its indications and that the product is said to be side-effect free and safe for use in pregnancy.
The complainant submitted that the advertising is misleading and in breach of the Code.
RELEVANT CLAUSES OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
In light of the complaint the following clauses of the Code were found to be relevant:
i) Section II, Clause 4.1 – Substantiation
ii) Section II, Clause 4.2.1 – Misleading claims
iii) Appendix A – Medicinal and related products and advertisements containing health claims.
The respondent submitted that each specific claim listed by the complainant will be amended as part of its new marketing strategy. The respondent confirmed that it undertakes to comply with the deadlines set out in Clause 15.3 of the Procedural Guide as far as possible.
ASA DIRECTORATE RULING
At a meeting held on 27 August 2003 the ASA Directorate considered all the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.
The Directorate notes the respondent’s submission that the advertising will be amended to address all the complainant’s concerns. In the circumstances, the Directorate accepts the respondent’s undertaking on condition that the advertising in its current format is withdrawn with immediate effect within the deadlines in Clause 15.3 of the Procedural Guide and is not used again in the future.