Posted 12th August 2011
There are a number of companies selling products that claim to treat “adrenal fatigue”. I have previously highlighted on CamCheck the nonsense claims of Solal for their product for “adrenal fatigue”, called “Burnout“.
A consumer laid a complaint with the ASA against a similar product being made by USN. USN simply withdrew their claims rather than try to defend them. Indeed, USN makes a number of products with claims which could only be described as baloney. Oxygen-enriched water is probably the worst culprit although many of their products come close to this one.
Biogen Andrenal Boost / K Charleston / 17974
Ruling of the : ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
Kevin Charleston Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)
Ultimate Sports Nutrition (Pty) Ltd t/a Biogen Respondent
11 Aug 2011
Mr Charleston lodged a consumer complaint against a Biogen print and internet advertisement promoting Biogen Adrenal Boost. The print advertisement was published in the Sunday Times during May 2011, and the internet advertisement appeared at www.biogen.co.za/products/adrenal-boost.asp.
The print advertisement is headed “Healthy adrenal gland function the key to keeping up the pace” and explains “significant” role adrenal glands play in one’s health. It contains a host of “… key symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue”, which include “Mild depression”, “insomnia”, “Low libido and others. It the contains, inter alia, a photograph of a distressed looking man, with his hand on his forehead, a photograph of the Biogen Adrenal Boost packaging and beneath it, the wording “BIOGEN ADRENAL BOOST was designed to promote optimal adrenal gland function keeping you at the top of your game during times of stress”.
The Internet advertisement contains a photograph of the packaging of Adrenal Boost and under the heading “Adrenal Boost Uses & benefits” the wording:
“Promotes adrenal gland function”
“Improves adrenal fatigue symptoms like depression, fatigue, anxiety, immune insufficiency, decreased libido, salt or sugar cravings, insomnia”
The complainant submitted, in essence, that the advertisements are making unsubstantiated claims about the product and its uses and efficacy.
RELEVANT CLAUSE OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
The complainant identified Clause 4.1 of Section II (Substantiation) as relevant.
The respondent submitted, inter alia, that it has taken a decision to rectify the information stated on the website, to the extent that deals with the concerns raised by the complainant.
ASA DIRECTORATE RULING
The ASA Directorate considered all the relevant documentation submitted by the complainant.
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, that undertaking is accepted without considering the merits of the matter.
The respondent’s undertaking appears to address the complainants’ concerns and there is therefore no need for the Directorate to consider the merits of the matter.
The undertaking is accepted on condition that the advertisements in question are not used again in their current format in future.
Biogen is an USN-Dis-Chem brand
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