Revivo Tea, Google AdWords and AVUSA

Posted 31 May 2011

“I found an ad I objected to on the website of a leading South African media group. The ad promoted a herbal concoction which, according to testimonials on the website the ad linked to, could be sued to treat the symptoms of AIDS. The ad had been served by Google’s AdWords. I then complained to AVUSA, the owners of the site I saw the ad on, Google, who served the ad and to the South African Advertising Standards Authority.”

indra de lanerolle takes on Google and AVUSA. 

See also the previous ASA rulingd against Revivo Tea.

Read the rest

Abusing the MCC appeal process

Prof Roy Jobson has written an excellent article for Quackdown! on how companies are abusing the MCC (Medicines Control Council) appeal process.

Simply Slim and Adcock examples are given. 

Roy writes: 

"One of the ways in which companies can object to a decision made by the Medicines Control Council (MCC) is to appeal the decision in terms of Section 24 of the Medicines and Related Substances Act (Act 101 of 1965).

There are time limits and prescriptions as to how long it can take for an appeal to be lodged and how rapidly the Minister of Health must respond. It is reasonable to have such a clause in the Medicines Act for legitimate objections – but it should not be abused to delay the implementation of an MCC decision." 

You can read the rest here: -process/

Read the rest

Bet-Trim ASA breach ruling

"In Be-Trim / L De Weerdt / 8660 (24 May 2007), the Directorate ruled that the advertisement claiming, inter alia, “20 Kilos in 3 Weke!!” (20 Kilos in 3 Weeks) and having several personal references of people losing weight as a result of using this product, had to be withdrawn because the respondent did not submit substantiation for the relevant claims."

Complaint: "The respondent is clearly flagrantly ignoring the ASA’s regulations and rulings. Despite knowing full well about the requirements in the Code, the respondent is simply carrying on advertising more such products."

Respondent: " The respondent ends with an emotional appeal, explaining that it is not a big company, yet it is providing income for 6 families and if it cannot advertise its products these families will not have an income."

(Note: The owner, Johan Brittz lives in the very expensive area of Llandudno)

Read the rest

noseweek article: EYEWASH


Critics who question the product's safety are threatened with defamation charges 

Posted with kind permission from noseweek

WHO'S GOT TIME for R&D these days? Certainly not Solal Technologies, a company that distributes, inter alia, a complementary medicine called Lutein & Zeaxanthin (Eye Formula). The blurb says that it's for "lutein and zeaxanthin deficiency" and that it's also "highly protective of the eye and assists with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataract". On top of that, "lutein and zeaxanthin also have cardiovascular and anti-carcinogenic effects". Good stuff then – but does it work?

Read the rest

Revive Day/Night Cream – UK ASA ruling

"Revive Day/Night Cream An effective face cream. Re-energises skin cells, resulting in more effective repair and protection. Also clears skin blemishes, reduces the appearances of the lines, regenerates and strengthens the skin's moisture barrier functions, resulting in a smoother, healthier skin".

A complainant asked the UK ASA whether these claims were true.

Read the rest

UK ASA ruling: Meratol weight-loss

A website for a weight loss supplement stated "MeratolTM works with your metabolism to provide a complete weight loss solution that targets the 4 main areas of weight loss … Together these weight loss techniques work as part of a 4-tier system to help you lose weight and make sure it stays off. The 4 stages of the MeratolTM system are: controlling calorie intake, reducing body fat, burning calories and blocking the carbohydrate intake."

 The ASA challenged whether the claim that the product aids weight loss by reducing the absorption of carbohydrates could be substantiated.

Read the rest

ASA ruling: TAC vs Christ Embassy Church

This is a significant ruling.

If rules in favour of the TAC argument against the Christ Embassy Church. The Christ Embassy Church appealed against the ruling of the ASA in favour of the TAC. The Church's advert claimed among other, that the Church could heal believers, from among other, heart disease and AIDS. 

It also addresses an issue that Solal have been arguing: that the ASA cannot use or implement Appendix F. 

Judge King clearly completely disagrees with their assertion: "We have concluded that the Code is clear as supplemented by Appendix F". 

Read the rest

Solal, Sugar Association, ASA – again

Posted 6 May 2011

The South African Sugar Association (“SASA”) lodged a complaint with the ASA against Solal’s Naturally Sweet product in 2009. The advertisement was headed, “Too much sugar or artificial sweeteners can cause cancer.” On 01 Dec 2009, the ASA ruled against Solal.  Solal appealed and on the 17 May 2010, the ASA accepting the substantiation of the claims by Mr Rael Koping (a dietitian), ruling in favour of Solal. SASA requested arbitration but Solal argued the product had been sold to another company (also Solal owned). So SASA put in a new complaint against the advertising claims for this product now under the auspices of the “new” Solal company.

First ruling (opens in new window)

Second  ruling (opens in new window)

The ASA have ruled against Solal. See the full ruling below.

Read the rest

ASA Ruling: Echinaforce

A complainant, lodged a complaint regarding a newsprint advertisement for Echinaforce which appeared in the Sunday Times on 27 February 2011, and also about a similar advertisement for the same product on the website,, which, according to the complainant, repeated and expanded on these claims.

In essence, It was submitted, inter alia, that the website still claims, “Dr Alfred Vogel’s Echinaforce inhibits bird flu (H5N1), swine flu (H1N1), seasonal flu more effective than oseltamivir!” and “In the first round, effective against 97,85% of the viruses”.

Read the rest

A dozen facts about Solal and their “critics” – subsequent . .

A posting on Quackdown! (How Solal Technologies uses legal threats to stifle legitimate criticism) resulted in vitriolic comments from Solal's Brent Murphy and Colin Levin, directors of Solal.

Harris Steinman responded to these comments with a posting on the same blog (A dozen facts about Solal and their "critics"). Colin Levin, taking umbrage, commented on this posting making a number of significant points which Harris felt obligated to comment on.

Harris writes:

"I should thank Colin Levin for his multiple postings above for they expose how the true colours of Solal become apparent when fair critique is offered."

"It is hard to know how to make any sense of the "arguments" in Colin Levin’s numerous postings. In my view, his statements are rendered nonsensical when considered in the light of several well-reasoned deconstructions of Solal’s claims and arguments on this blog and on CamCheck."

Posted as … Read the rest