ASA Ruling: Homemark Pest Magic

,

Homemark advertises this product claiming that "this product can be plugged into any electrical outlet, and “… this state of the art pest repeller uses the wiring of your home to create a massive force field that drives the pests out …”. Some of the pests that the product claims to be effective against are spiders, ants, roaches, mice and silverfish.

Considering Homemark's previous false advertising for some of their other products, can one believe that this product has any efficacy?

Here is a ruling against Homemark's one claim.

 

 

Homemark Pest Magic / M Blanckenberg / 16438

Ruling of the : ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
Dr M BlanckenbergComplainant(s)/Appellant(s)
Homemark (Pty) LtdRespondent

11 Feb 2011

Dr Blanckenberg lodged a consumer complaint against Homemark’s television commercial for its Pest Magic product.

The commercial explains how this product can be plugged into any electrical outlet, and “… this state of the art pest repeller uses the wiring of your home to create a massive force field that drives the pests out …”. Some of the pests that the product claims to be effective against are spiders, ants, roaches, mice and silverfish.

COMPLAINTS
The complainant, an electronic engineer, submitted that this commercial is misleading, as it is impossible to create a so-called force field using the wiring of your home.

RELEVANT CLAUSES OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
In light of the complaint the following clauses of the Code were taking into consideration:

• Section II, Clause 4.1 – Substantiation

• Section II, Clause 4.2.1 – Misleading claims

RESPONSE
The respondent submitted arguments on the merits of the matter, and also included a report from Mr Uwe Nusser, a qualified technologist on precision engineering who claims to have researched the product. the respondent added that Mr Nusser also raised concerns about the term “force field” as used in the commercial, and that it would accordingly take steps to address this claim.

ASA DIRECTORATE RULING
The ASA Directorate considered the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.

It is noted that the complainant only raised one objection to the commercial, being the claim that the product “… uses the wiring of your home to create a massive force field that drives the pests out …”, which the complainant argued is nonsense.

The Directorate will therefore limit its investigation to this claim only.

In response to the complaint, the respondent submitted a report from Mr Uwe Nusser, whom it believes qualifies as an independent and credible expert in this particular field. It also, however, undertook to amend the commercial to address the reference to a “force field”, due to the fact that even Mr Nusser raised concerns over this term.

The ASA has a long standing principle which holds that where an advertiser provides an unequivocal undertaking to withdraw or amend its advertising in a manner that addresses the concerns raised, the undertaking is accepted without considering the merits of the matter.

Given that the respondent has undertaken to remove the reference to a “force field”, the Directorate is satisfied that this will adequately address the concern raised by the complainant.

It is also specifically noted that the Directorate therefore does not have to consider whether or not Mr Nusser qualifies as an independent and credible expert in this particular field as required by Clause 4.1 of Section II. Consequently, there is no need to consider the efficacy claims other than the reference to a “force field” at this time.

The Directorate therefore accepts the respondent’s undertaking on condition that the commercial is amended with immediate effect, and does not make reference to using the wiring of one’s house to create a force field again in future.

For the benefit of the respondent, the Directorate also notes that in Homemark Pest Magic / CP Kotze / 10695 (4 April 2008), the respondent was unable to substantiate the claim “… 100% effective” by virtue of the fact that it had no evidence to show that the product is effective against roaches (which was the subject of that complaint). This ruling therefore impacts on the respondent’s current advertising and the respondent would do well to keep it in mind.

 
 

,

29 Responses to ASA Ruling: Homemark Pest Magic

  1. Nadia 21 February, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    I bought a set (2) of pest magic devices many months ago. My initial concern was that the insert stated that it would take up to 6 weeks (if I remember correctly) to become fully effective, but the "money back guarantee" was for 14 days… go figure.

    Anyway, it (they) did not work at all on ants, geckos or spiders. I cannot say if it worked on rats (my original reason for purchasing them) as we had killed the rat with rattex prior to purchasing these products. We now have a rat in our ceiling. I checked both devices and noticed that one is no longer working – after opening it up, I could smell that it has probably been zapped by lightning. I do not know if the diviced did in fact repel the rats, but now that one has stopped working, it is not effective enough on its own, or whether they just do not work at all.
    I would appreciate any feedback from others who have used this product.

  2. KET 3 May, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    i am convinced non of homemark products work. i bought a few but could not return them before the 7th day. the one i return in time is the lids which cannot close any of the containers let alone preserve food as advertised. where can i report this misleading advertisements

  3. Harris 3 May, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    You can lay a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa. Read this page for advice on how to do so: http://www.quackdown.info/article/how-stop-false-advertising/

  4. zanele 22 July, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    i bought pest magic , but it does not work, homemark they are misleading poeple.

  5. Charmaine Langeveldt 15 August, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    I bought the Pest Magic about 2 years back. I have 2 (two) in our garage area – both sides and two (2) in the house.  It is still switched on but my husband said that I am wasting electricity and now we know for sure that It doesn't work. I had to tow our car in this morning because a mouse chewed the car wires through on one car and my other car has also been under attack during the two years by mice. So again money down the drain and they are not cheap and now it is costing me towing money and an auto electrician to fix the one car. The other one still need to be fixed. I am going to throw it out and will think 4 times in future before buying anything from them again. Can't believe that they are still advertising the product on TV and still selling it!!! It should be stopped!!

  6. Mrs Barnard 23 August, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    Pest Magic does not work at all. Ants were walking happily past the device with no effect on them. What a joke!

  7. Tom Maydon 18 September, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    Just saw an advert for it on channel 112. The claims are complete pseudoscience (forcefield or not). There is a reason why large corporations use conventional pest control procedures. I took one apart once and all there is is a simple circuit with some LEDs. Bollocks!

  8. CLINTON 10 January, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    I am most likely the biggest fool on this planet ,to date I have bought 5 Pest Magics (the purchase of two just recently) .I am trying to convince myself that they work but a lot off comments I have read lead me to believe otherwise. Certain results show me that they do not work, and due to the fact that the advert refers to these units in dry walls or wood the net outcome would be totally different in South African homes (concrete) as most of us know sound wave signals do not travel well in concrete. So to this end my wife is right….. money damn wasted. Don’t bother trying to complain about it at Homemark you will just get the run around. the old saying,” a fool and his money are soon parted”

  9. Micohstyles 20 January, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    Very upset and disappointed bought this gadget a month ago and subsequently surrendered myself to what I anticipated to be a peaceful sleep under the guard of this gadget.

    Boy, did the Mosquitos have a field day. Had to wake up in the middle of the night and unleash the good old Baygon multi insect killer spray.

    Excuse the pun but the “Peaceful Sleep” mosquito mats even work better.

    Thank you CPA, I want my money back. Not sure how builders warehouse could allow themselves to be exposed like this, don’t they verify these things or is it all about the money.

  10. Shaheedah 16 February, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    I like many of you bought the same stupid misleading plug in the hopes that I would be rid of cockroaches & flies, but unfortunately it didn't work, I also convinced myself that it did work, even though I knew that it didn't
    I think that it's really unfair that we cannot get our money back. I can't believe that they are still selling this rubbish, getting rich with our money.

  11. simone 21 February, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    we bought one of these products a few years ago and the mouse we where trying to get rid of came wondering down the hall way a few days later as a RAT!!!
    Mom immediately took the product back and asked for a refund. When asked why she told them it did not do as promissed it turned mice into RATS!! the lady working there's jaw just dropped and the money was returned immediatly! this was the funniest thing as everything we have ever tried to return before took weeks to get refunded.

  12. D. Holloway 19 March, 2012 at 12:03 am #

    Couple of days after I plugged it in, the roaches nested on the wall-side of the devices, because of the little heat it generated. So in fact, the devices I bought, didnt repel the pests, but instead breeded it! HAHAHA!!!

  13. Anne Scholes 11 May, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    Well guess im another sucker! After reading the comments on the fantastic pest magic, i now understand why mice still run across my lounge carpet while im watching TV eventhough i have a pest magic plugged into the wall next to me!! I kept believing the story that it would get worse before better so “hung in there” for the 6 weeks to be up!! Disgusting how Homemark gets away with it!!

  14. Tina 30 August, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    This pest magic product is just nonsense and a waist of ones electricity.i bought it hoping it will help get rid of the ants in my yard but that never happened,i wasted my R200.00.dont ever buy this product!!!

  15. CJ 1 February, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    I fully agree with everyone above…. The ” Pet Magic Ultrasonic Pest Repeller” is a money making scam and does not work at all.. I am the biggest fool for believing this crap… I bougt 2 of these so-called solutions to your pest problems and test it for 4 months without any luck… I really think Homemark must test this crap before selling it to its customers…. I will never buy anything from Homemark again…..

  16. C'Esta 27 February, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    Biggest load of crap EVER. Doesn’t work AT all !!!!! How can you mislead people like this! I’m very upset about this rubbish I bought.

  17. Gavin 16 June, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    Glad to have found this website. I was thinking of getting one of these gadgets. Totally changed my mind now. Thanks

  18. lekan 1 July, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    Just saw the advert on dstv and anticipating buying it. But with all the review, its obvious it doesnt work.the ad should be taken off the air

  19. D. Baxter 23 October, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    Why are homework still allowed to sell ‘Pest Magic” when it clearly does not work ! It should be taken off the market.

  20. Harris 23 October, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    @D. Baxter
    Because Homemark found an “expert” who says that it does work.

  21. Joy Visser 5 November, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    I bought a Pest Magic from Homemark and the roaches run
    cheerfully around it! It is a disgrace that we pay so much for
    a gadget that doesn’t work. Maybe the ASA can force Homemark
    to refund our money!

  22. Eve 26 February, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    i just bought one of these…. O NO! I will take it back right to Dischem.

  23. Don 4 July, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    Waste of time. Only good thing about it is the luminous glow it emits that helps u find your way to the switch in the dark. Doesn’t kill pests ATALL!

  24. Audhriech 2 February, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

    I wish i read these comments 2 weeks ago, it’d save me time and my money!! I must agree with Don, the luminous glow is nicely lighting up the room, and i’m able to locate the mosquitoes as they perch right on the appliance !!!

  25. Mike 8 March, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

    Suffer from Emphysema and can’t use spay / powder or any product with a smell. So what is the solution? “Pest Control” from Homemark! Hehehe, ok, now I know at least I am still human as these things do not work. To the contrary, I actually believe it assist the ants to the food sources as I now have even more ants!!!

    DO NOT BUY!!!!!!

  26. Emmanuel 5 January, 2017 at 11:41 am #

    Thank you all for the info you provided here. I was about to go buy this product but decided to check the internet for more information – Now I know better. IT DOES NOT WORK!

  27. Martin 2 March, 2018 at 1:17 pm #

    Snake oil would work better. I cannot see how these can still be sold as they are rubbish and do not work on insects or rodents

  28. Percyk 5 March, 2018 at 3:44 am #

    I was going to buy this product tomorrow but no thanks
    It’s good to get more info before you buy

  29. Pete 17 October, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Thanks for the useful reviews. Having read them I was able to warn my wife who was in the store about waste her hard earned cash.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.