ASA opinion: Patrick Holford fails science again

Posted 31 January 2012

A consumer lodged a complaint with the ASA against a radio commercial advertising Patrick Holford’s “Mood Food” as heard during 2011. The advertisement features Patrick Holford stating as follows:

“So you often suffer from a low mood or lack of motivation? My name is Patrick Holford and I’d like to tell you how to get back your Feel Good Factor. There are five essential nutrients that help to improve mood, by making the feel good chemicals in your brain. These are: Chromium, Vitamin D, and energising B Vitamins plus the amino acids Tyrosine and Tryptophan. All these are contained in my Mood Food Supplement. Visit or your pharmacy, and ask for Patrick Holford’s Mood Food”. 

In essence, the complainant submitted that there is no evidence to show that any of the ingredients contained in the respondent’s product are effective at improving mood or reducing Read the rest

3 Cyline Penis Products

Posted 30 January 2012

A consumer lodged a consumer complaint against a flyer distributed by Mr Ray Ndaw Chang & Maama Tendo promoting their “3 CYLINE PENIS PRODUCTS”. In essence the complainant submitted that the advertising was untruthful, offensive and unsuitable for distribution in public. He questioned whether the respondent had any proof for the claims that it can enlarge the penis, and noted that the pamphlets were simply stuck on fences and in post-boxes in a neighbourhood where children live.

Read the rest

Reebok – Liar, liar, pants on fire?

Posted 30 January 2012

On the 10th October 2011, this was posted on CamCheck:

“A complaint was laid with the ASA. [In essence pointing out these false claims resulted in  a massive $25-million class action settlement.] On the 3rd August, a response from the ASA “Reebok Easy Tone Shoes / H A Steinman /18355” was received. Shannon Bouwer, PR & Communications Manager or Reebok, had the following to say in their response to the complaint:

“We are In receipt of your letter dated 1 August 2011. We are no longer flighting this advert in South Africa and therefore this investigation may be redundant. As a leading fitness and athletic brand, Reebok has a long history of developing new and innovative technologies, and we stand behind all of our products. We are proud of EasyTone’s unique balance ball-inspired technology, and consumer feedback for the product has been overwhelmingly positive.”

However, Read the rest

Detox foot pads – massive scam!

Posted 25 January 2012

From a recent UK Advertisings Standards ruling:

"Marketers have tried in the past to establish that the human body accumulates toxins that can be purged. CAP and the ASA understand that the body’s liver and kidneys automatically detoxify and excrete many toxic materials, including metabolic wastes. Advertisers have previously tried to claim that foot pads or foot patches can detoxify the body. To date, neither CAP nor the ASA has seen evidence that these types of products can remove toxins from the body." 

Read the rest

Solal Eyesight Protection, another adverse ASA ruling

Posted 24 January 2012

The ASA previously ruled against Solal's claims for their Eyesight ProtectionTM  product. One of the claims made for this product was   “Eyesight Protection TM” helped “protect the eyes against eye damage from UV-sun rays …”, “Minimises low-light vision loss, eye fatigue, intolerance to glare and other eye disorders” and should be used “… on a regular basis … even in the absence of symptoms …” 

In the previous ruling, the ASA concluded that Solal's expert, Dr Terry Grossman, was not a "true" expert. In this ruling, the ASA has supplied new substantiation. Still not enough to sway the ASA. Sometimes the ASA does get a ruling wrong (in my opinion), but in this instance, I think that they were again spot on. In fact, I commend the ASA on a well reasoned ruling.

Read the rest

Biomix breach ruling

Posted 24 January 2012

It is essential to check one's facts before laying a complaint with the ASA. In this complaint to the ASA, I stated that Biomix continued to make false and unsubstantiated claims for their products on websites. Oops, the ASA was unable to view the same URL links. Did I view website pages that were in my browser's cache? Did the website remove the pages before the ASA confirmed my complaint? Likely explanation is the former, in which case I apologise to both the ASA (for wasting their time) and to Biomix for claiming that they were still in breach of the ASA ruling. I was also under the impression that I had initially argued that "Slimming Solution" as in Biomix Slimming Solution, was misleading. Another lapse of memory. Therefore a complaint regarding this aspect has now been laid with the ASA.

Read the rest

Repcillin – ASA – Can you believe the claims?

Posted 24 January 2012 

I first wrote about Repcillin here.

Repcillin is a cosmetic product manufactured from crocodile oil. It makes a number of unbelievable claims, including “[B]alm may be helpful in offering relief from itchy or painful skin conditions such as allergies, eczema, insect bites, sunburn, abrasions and skin infections. It may be helpful in preventing wrinkles” and “MCC (Medical Control Council of South Africa) Registered”.

A complaint was laid with the ASA and John Sweet, the “founder of Repcillin”, was unable to offer any evidence in support of the claims. Appears to be a scam.

[note note_color=”#ddfef7″]Update 20 July 2014

Since the ASA ruling, John Sweet, the CEO of Repcillin, has been good to his word, and removed all of the unsubstantiated claims from the local Website and that of However, there are a number of other “Repcillin” websites making unsubstantiated claims. I asked John … Read the rest


Posted 23 January 2012

I received the following letter:

Dear Dr Steinman, 

I was hoping you could help me with a product.  Perhaps you have knowledge of it? 

Repcillin (genuine crocodile balm) it cures burns, cuts, psoriasis, eczema, athletes foot, acne, sores, nappy rash, insect bites, sunburn, sore lips, thrush warts etc> 

I visited the website and saw that they have been approved by the MCC (I could not get hold of anyone to verify this)  I then phoned NetCare who stock the product _ and they said they only have a certificate of submission and that the MCC is in a mess at the moment. 

How can I be sure this product is for real?  If pharmacies are stocking it and hospitals it should be fine to use? 

I am sorry to trouble you with this _ I just knew that if anyone knew _ you would. 


Read the rest

ASA Sanctions against Easy Thin (Betrim/Organoslim/Johan Brittz)

Posted 12 January 2012

In this ruling, the ASA has bared its teeth. Johan Brittz is the person behind the scam products, Organoslim, Be-trim, and Easythin. Clearly without conscience, he simply changes the name of the product, and/or the formulation, and continues to sell these scam products.

"The complainant firstly objected on the basis that the weight loss claims made are false, and have no scientific basis or proof. In addition, the claim that the product is registered with the MCC is also not true, and somewhat suspicious, seeing that the registration number quoted is the same as that quoted for the respondent’s Be-Trim and Organoslim products. Lastly, the complainant noted that the respondent has received various adverse rulings and/or sanctions for non-compliance with the Code and existing rulings. Clearly the respondent is flagrantly disregarding the rulings and the Code, and severe sanctions are warranted."

Read the rest

ASA breach ruling: Hivex

Posted 12 January 2012

Mr Low, on behalf of TAC, lodged a breach complaint against the respondent’s website It was explained that even though some of the wording on the website has changed, it still contravenes the Code for essentially the same reasons as previously identified. Therefore, the essence of that complaint remains unchanged and the advertising is in breach of the ruling and of the Code.

The complainant submitted, inter alia, that the following quotes are essentially similar in message and communication to those originally complained of:

“The HIVEX Treatment is an electro-magnetic treatment which targets proteins in the HIV virus to disable the virus.”

Read the rest