Ultima Fat Away – of course the name is misleading

Posted 30 May 2013

This is an interesting ruling and shows how perception can influence an ASA ruling. I first complained about Ultima Fat Away many years ago, which resulted in an arbitration which found in my favour.

Two years later, I realised that the name of a product could also be regarded as also misleading and I started laying complaints against this aspect as well.

Following a breach ruling in Ultima Fat Away, I realised that I had never laid a complaint against the name of the product which is clearly misleading for it claims being effective, when it is not, and therefore I subsequently did. Because of the timing of my complaint, the argument could be made that it appeared to be vexatious. Thankfully the ASA did conclude “. . . most certainly does not afford the respondent a “free ticket” to carry on using terminology that implies Read the rest

Bio-Strath – a nutritional supplement or a medicine?

Posted 30 May 2013

This is an ASA ruling that is difficult to fully read or understand. In essence, Prof Roy Jobson originally appealed an ASA Directorate decision to not rule on the description of Bio-Strath as “a herbal wholefood supplement”. He asserted this description was misleading because, given the medicinal claims Bio-Strath was making, it is a medicine within the definition of “medicine” as defined in the Medicines and Related Substances Act and therefore may not be described as a “herbal wholefood supplement”. Prof Jobson therefore appealed the decision to not rule on this. Bio-Strath then stated that they would change the description to “daily nutritional supplement” and suggested that that would meet Prof Jobson’s concerns and there would be no need to “waste the appeal committee’s time.” The appeal was referred to the Advertising Standards Committee, who ruled that it was acceptable to refer to the product as Read the rest

Dirty medicine

Posted 23 May 2013

CAMCheck focuses on CAMS and alternative medicine. In fact CAMCheck is against ALL therapeutic products that make bogus or unsubstantiated claims, including those from Big Pharma: however because of the breadht of this issue, CamCheck has selectively focused primarily on CAM products.

CAM manufacturers frequently argue claim that generic proof is acceptable, i.e., that claims for an ingredient should automatically be allowed by a product containing that ingredient. We argue that the tablet or formulation may not dissolve in the same way, may not be similarly bioavailable, and in many cases, that there is no proof that the ingredients are exactly the same or that the combination of ingredients will result in the same efficacy.

In this article published in CNN Money, the authors do an in depth investigative report on the epic inside story of long-term criminal fraud at Ranbaxy, the Indian drug company Read the rest

Herbex Booster Eat Less- No proof that it works

Posted 14 May 2013

A consumer pointed out to the ASA that there is zero proof that the ingredients or the product as a whole, can fulfill the claims being made for this product, that is, to result in you eating less. All the scientific databases as well as natural or complementary medicine databases were searched and no proof was found to support any of the claims. Herbex were able to offer an “opinion” but no proof and the ASA ruled against the product’s claims as well as name.

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Are antioxidants of any benefit?

Posted 10 May 2013

This interesting article was published in the Washington Post, and reproduced here for the benefit of readers.

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Miracle Magnesium, again, the scam continues

Posted 07 May 2013

A consumer laid a complaint against the claims for this product as advertised in a print advertisement appearing in the Vrouekeur Magazine. The ASA ruled in favour of most aspects of the complaint. It is noteworthy to note that this company is ignoring the ASA rulings and continuing to scam consumers.

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USN Fat Block – Lie, no proof that it blocks fat

Posted 07 May 2013

This is a great example of how pseudoscience has been utilised, i.e., evidence from a computer model used to claim an ingredient will have a beneficial effect in humans, without proving it. A consumer laid a complaint against USN Fat Block that claims “CLINICALLY PROVEN”, “QUALITY INGREDIENTS”, and “Supports Weight Loss”. In fact, similar claims for the ingredient used, Neopuntia, was previously ruled against by the ASA. (It is clear from this that USN cannot be trusted at all.) 

The ASA examined the evidence supplied by USN and agreed, there is no proof that this product works at all, and therefore ruled against the claims as well as the name of the product.

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Herbex Attack The Fat (Hlasela Amafutha) – Does not work!

Posted 06 May 2013

A consumer laid a complaint against the claims for the product Herbex Attack The Fat, The advertisement states, inter alia, “Herbex attack the fat is a powerful herbal syrup that will help you lose weight” and “A few teaspoon a day will help you look your best and boost your confidence”. The consumer claimed that he searching credible scientific databases, he could find no proof that the product or the ingredients will result in the claims being made for the product.

Herbex were unable to supply objective proof to support the claims and the ASA ruled against the claims for the product, as well as the name of the product as it therefore is misleading.

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Vita Aid PH Balance – nonsensical claims

Posted 06 May 2013

A consumer lodged a complaint against an advertisement for Vita Aid PH Balance. The advertisement is headed “Do you get sick often? Do you feel tired all the time?” The copy then states, inter alia, that: “Your body is probably too acidic. The answer to your well-being could be as simple as balancing the ph level in your body and managing your acidity. “… effectively speeding up your body’s immune response rate and packing a punch with loads of new-found energy!” “… Vita Aid pH Balance fights acidity in the body. It helps to balance your body’s pH level, by correcting extreme acidic states commonly associated with gout, diabetes and arthritis”;

The complainant elaborated on why these claims are untrue, illogical and in some instances contradictory. 

Arcadia Home Shopping were unable to prove their claims.

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Herbex Slimmers Drops & Tablets “Rene” advert

Posted 06 May 2013

A consumer laid a complaint with the ASA against a Herbex advert, raising several issues, relating to the discrepancy between the Afrikaans and English testimonial (which is problematic in terms of the Code), the prominence (or lack thereof) of the relevant disclaimer and approval required by the Code, and the lack of substantiation for efficacy of the product.

The ASA ruled in favour of the consumer in most aspects.

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