Consumer Watch: Advertising board takes issue with Weighted Blanket claims

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Posted 20 January 2021

By Georgina Crouth  Jan 18, 2021

Johannesburg – Stress and anxiety wearing you down? Then a weighted or gravity blanket is all you need to count sheep in no time. Because let’s be honest: Who sleeps well during a pandemic?

If you believe the marketing hype around them, weighted blankets are the newest, bestest thing in home treatments for anxiety, PTSD, colic, and even autism. Said to improve the mood as well as calm a restless body and mind, the blankets – weighted with a filling of micro beads – have been selling like hotcakes for years, at a starting price of around R799 each.

Punted as being medically approved, the health care claims suggest deep pressure stimulation helps relax and soothe the body. But the jury’s still out on their efficacy.

Nothing though escapes the sharp eye of consumer activist, Dr Harris Steinman. He

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Can supplements help boost your immune system (immune-booster) ?

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Posted 13 January 2021

South Africa is flooded with adverts for “immune-boosting” products, in particular claiming to be useful for Covid-19, e.g. –  Galela Oil.

(Galela Oil is a scam – there is no robust evidence at all that supports their claims, and no proof that this product even contains the ingredients they claim to have present (and at an appropriate dose).

The immune system is a very complex system.

As mentioned in a recent peer-reviewed published study: “The concept that one can “boost” immunity is a popular one. Although the only evidence-based approach to this is vaccination, the lay public is exposed to a wide range of information on how to boost immunity”. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6673706/

Harvard University’s Women’s Health Watch has recently published an article on “immune boosters”.

They conclude:

Your money might be better spent on something else.

Harvard University’s Women’s Health Watch

Published: January, 2020

During the … Read the rest

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New advertising authority takes firm stand against quackery

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Posted 14 December 2020

By 

Board says it will rule even on advertising claims by companies that are not members

The Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) has made it clear that it will rule against companies that make unproven medical claims, even if those companies are not members of the ARB.

ARB is a self-regulating authority, and its members join it voluntarily. There has been an ongoing debate dating back to the ARB’s predecessor, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), as to whether it can make rulings about the adverts of non-members.

The ARB replaced the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after the latter went into liquidation in 2018.

The ARB has in recent months ruled that members should remove advertisements by three companies claiming the medical efficacy of their products. All three advertisements were broadcast on M-Net during the evening. M-Net is a member of the Read the rest

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Sédatif PC – does it work?

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Posted 10 December 2020

A complaint was laid with the ARB (Advertising Regulatory Board) objecting to the claims that this product is effective for stress, anxiety and minor sleep disorders. The complainant noted that stress and insomnia are disabling conditions, which means consumers would expect a product making these types of claims to be supported by objective evidence.

Furthermore, the principle of homeopathic medicine manufacture, is to dilute the primary ingredient (which in itself has no evidence of treating these conditions), to a point where the product contains no residual molecules of its original respective ingredients. Imagine diluting panado to a point where there is not a single molecule of panado left in the tablet, and then claiming it will alleviate your headache.

In other words, according to my argument, this product is no better than simply drinking a teaspoon of tap water. If you have stress, anxiety and minor Read the rest

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Zinzino: 17 unsettling things you need to consider

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Posted 10 December 2020

I have been asked by a number of readers about Zinzino. 

Zinzino is a MLM (Multilevel marketing) company, very similar to Herbalife, Amway etc. 

Multilevel marketing (MLM) is a strategy that some direct sales companies use to encourage existing distributors to recruit new distributors. In MLM schemes, there can be hundreds or thousands of members worldwide, but relatively few earn meaningful incomes from their efforts, indicating a possible pyramid scheme. Investopedia

There is no robust evidence to confirm that these products have any significant clinically proven benefits over other vitamin supplements.

A number of relevant questions and answers regarding this company, and its products, can be found at this site which asks:

Curing the world of all its ailments, lengthening the human lifespan, and hitting a million customers in the next few years are just a few of their ambitions. But can Read the rest

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Ruling against ads for Homemark products – including detox tea and nail treatment – following complaints

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Posted 07 December 2020

Dec 06, 2020, 10:04 AM
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Homemark Detox Tea: ARB Ruling

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Posted 30 November 2020

A complaint was laid with the Advertising Regulatory Board against the claims being made for this product.

Complainant: Dr Harris Steinman
Advertiser: Homemark (Pty) Ltd
Consumer/Competitor: Consumer
File reference: 1048 – Homemark Detox Tea – Dr Harris Steinman
Outcome: Upheld
Date: 24 November 2020

The Directorate of the Advertising Regulatory Board has been called on to consider a complaint by Dr Harris Steinman against Homemark’s television commercial promoting its Remedy Health “Detox Tea”. According to the Complainant, this commercial flighted on M-Net at 22:11 on 23 September 2020, and an extended version thereof is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPGnERvZ2Ho.

Description of the Advertising

The television commercial opens with a grey colour tone, showing several people looking tired, irritable, struggling to fit in their pants, rubbing their stomachs and appearing generally lethargic. During these scenes, the voice-over states “Not interested in life anymore? We’re just not full Read the rest

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Homemark Remedy Health Detox Foot Patches: ARB Ruling

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Posted 30 November 2020

A complaint was laid with the Advertising Regulatory Board against the claims being made for this product.

Complainant: Dr Harris Steinman
Advertiser: Homemark (Pty) Ltd
Consumer/Competitor: Consumer
File reference: 1085 – Homemark Remedy Health Detox Foot Patches – Dr Harris Steinman
Outcome: Upheld
Date: 24 November 2020

The Directorate of the Advertising Regulatory Board has been called on to consider a complaint by Dr Harris Steinman against Homemark’s website advertising promoting its “Remedy Health Detox Foot Patches”. The relevant advertising is accessible via https://homemark.co.za/collections/remedy-health/products/remedy-health-detox-foot-patches.

Description of the Advertising

The advertising notes, inter alia, that “The Remedy Health Detox Pads are used on the feet according to the Chinese tradition of foot reflexology. Detox patches are said to stimulate nerve endings on the bottom of your feet and improving energy flow and resolve circulation to problem areas of the body, clearing toxins build-up and Read the rest

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Homemark Aragan Secret Nail Treatment : ARB Ruling

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Posted 30 November 2020

A complaint was laid with the Advertising Regulatory Board against the claims being made for this product.

Complainant: Dr Harris Steinman
Advertiser: Homemark (Pty) Ltd
Consumer/Competitor: Consumer
File reference: 1075 – Homemark Aragan Secret Nail Treatment  – Dr Harris Steinman
Outcome: Upheld
Date: 24 November 2020

The Directorate of the Advertising Regulatory Board has been called on to consider a complaint by Dr Harris Steinman against Homemark’s television commercial promoting its “Aragan Secret Nail Treatment” product. The Complainant saw the commercial on M-Net at 21:10 on 23 September 2020.

Description of the Advertising

The commercial opens with various images of severely damaged and discoloured fingernails and toenails, while the voice-over states:

Ingrown, thick, flaky, brittle, what a nightmare or worse, of embarrassing deformed nails destroying your sanity. Morocco’s best kept secret; Aragan Secret Nail Treatment, is your answer to beautiful and moisturised nails. The legendary Read the rest

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Collagen hype scrutinised

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Posted 19 November 2020

Consumer Reports has spotlighted the lack of scientific support for claims that consuming collagen powders, pills, and foods can result in smoother skin, shinier hair, stronger nails, healthier joints, and more lean muscle mass.
Reference: Wadyka S. The real deal on collagen. Consumer Reports, Oct 13, 2020

The article notes that Nutrition Business Journal projects collagen supplement sales in the U.S. to reach $298 million this year—up from $73 million in 2015. Collagen is a protein that holds skin, tendons, ligaments, bones, and cartilage together. But that doesn’t mean that consumers benefit from collagen in supplements or added to foods, such as energy bars, oatmeal, smoothies, coffee creamers, and popcorn. The human body makes collagen from glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and other amino acids when proteins (not limited to collagen) are digested. The bottom line in the article is that “until there’s more conclusive evidence in Read the rest

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