Archive | Rulings

A collection of pertinent ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) or FTC (USA Federal Trade Commission) rulings

UK ASA Ruling on Yorktest Laboratories Ltd / IgG Food Intolerance testing

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Posted 12 July 2021

Three complainants challenged whether the claim “YorkTest define Food Intolerance as a food-specific IgG reaction”, and the overall impression of both ads that the test would inform consumers if they had a food intolerance, was misleading and could be substantiated. Another complainant challenged whether the efficacy claims about migraines in both ads and depression in ad (b) were misleading and could be substantiated.

The UK ASA concluded the evidence was insufficient to support the claims.

Similar companies in South Africa make the same unfair claims, .e.g., ImuPro.

ASA Ruling on YorkTest Laboratories Ltd

  • 23 June 2021 ASA

Background

Summary of Council decision:

Two issues were investigated, both of which were upheld.

Ad description

A TV ad and website for YorkTest:

a. The TV ad, seen on 29 January 2018, featured a woman described in on-screen text as a “Nutritionist YorkTest Laboratories” standing in a kitchen in

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UK ASA Ruling on Bio-Medical Research Ltd t/a Slendertone

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Posted 12 July 2021

An UK TV ad for Slendertone, a toning belt, seen in January and February 2019. A voice-over stated, “Meet Slendertone, your personal body toner, who firms and tones your abs, helps shape your waistline and easily fits in with your lifestyle. Clinically proven with results from four weeks. Look and feel amazing.” This product is similar to the advert shown on DSTV for Neotex Hot Belt.

The UK ASA concluded: “We concluded that the impression given by the ad, that the product was able to affect the size of the waist by visibly firming and toning the abdominal muscles, had not been substantiated and that the ad was therefore misleading.”

ASA Ruling on Bio-Medical Research Ltd t/a Slendertone

  • 10 March 2021 ASA

Background

Summary of Council decision:

Two issues were investigated, one of which was Upheld. The other was informally resolved after the advertiser agreed to

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UK ASA Ruling on DNAfit Life Sciences Ltd t/a DNAfit

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Posted 12 July 2021

Similar to the South African company, DNA Analysis, who claims that they are able to create a diet based on your DNA, this UK company made similar claims. The UK ASA found insufficient evidence to support their claims.

ASA Ruling on DNAfit Life Sciences Ltd t/a DNAfit

  • 31 March 2021 ASA

A paid-for ad on Instagram for DNAfit, seen on 29 September 2019, featured an animated double helix and captions that stated “We’re DNA. We know all about your body. Fast twitch muscle fibres give you power. Slow give you endurance. And that’s not all we can tell you. Order your kit now at DNAfit.com”. A caption under the animation stated “Unlock the secret to your ideal diet, vitamin need and exercise response”.

Issue

The complainant, who believed DNA testing could not be used to determine an individual’s diet, vitamin and exercise needs, challenged

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Nivea Luminous 630 – ARB Ruling

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Posted 24 June 2021

A consumer complaint was laid with the Advertising Regulatory Bureau against the advertising of Nivea “Perfect & Radiant Luminous630 Anti Dark Marks Serum”.

The complainant submitted that he contacted Nivea and asked for evidence of these “extraordinary” claims. Nivea was unwilling to provide any evidence, citing reasons of confidentiality, but assured him that “… the study was conducted in compliance with the necessary international and local standards applicable”.

The complainant therefore turned to the ARB arguing that without evidence, the claims cannot be justified.

Nivea supplied evidence.

Decision of the Advertising Regulatory Board

Complainant: Dr Harris Steinman
Advertiser: Beiersdorf Consumer Products (Pty) Ltd
Consumer/Competitor :Consumer
File reference: 1472 – Nivea Luminous 630 – Dr Harris Steinman
Outcome: Dismissed

Date: 24 June 2021

The Directorate of the Advertising Regulatory Board has been called upon to consider a consumer complaint against advertising promoting … Read the rest

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Herbex UltraSlim: Advertising Regulatory Board ruling

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Posted 14 May 2021

In November 2020, the Advertising Regulatory Board ruled against the claims being made by Herbex UltraSlim preventing further advertising of this product on DSTV and elsewhere. The complainant argued that there is zero evidence to show that this product has any effect on weight-loss, or any of the other claims being made for the product.

Herbex has now appealed this ruling, supplying a ‘dossier’ compiled by Dr Craig Wright, a homeopath and herbal practitioner. The original complainant argued that the dossier still did not substantiate the claims for the product. The ABR agreed.

Herewith the ruling:

Decision of the Advertising Regulatory Board

Complainant: Dr Harris Steinman
Advertiser: Newgroup (Pty) Ltd
Consumer/Competitor: Consumer
File reference: 1055 – Herbex Ultraslim – Dr Harris Steinman
Outcome: New substantiation partially accepted

Date :13 May 2021

The Directorate of the Advertising Regulatory Board has been called upon to consider new substantiation … Read the rest

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Homemark  Anti-Anxiety  Weighted  Blanket – ARB Ruling

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Posted 09 February 2021

A complaint was laid with the ARB (Advertising Regulatory Board) regarding Homemark’s claims for their ‘Weighted Blanket’, which claimed among other, “It is useful for anxiety and stress”, “Creates a focus on ADHD”, “Alleviates restless leg syndrome”, “Enhances sleep quality”, “It helps you stay asleep at night”. The complainant argued that these claims are not supported by evidence and therefore dupe consumers into spending around R800 for a product with no evidence of being able to help.

Here is the ARB ruling

Decision of the ADVERTISING REGULATORY BOARD

Complainant: Dr Harris Steinman
Advertiser: Homemark (Pty) Ltd
Consumer/Competitor: Consumer
File reference: 1093  –  Homemark  Anti-Anxiety  Weighted  Blanket  – Dr Harris Steinman

Outcome: Upheld

Date: 15 January 2021

The Directorate of the Advertising Regulatory Board has been called on to consider a complaint by Dr Harris Steinman against Homemark’s online advertising promoting its “Anti Anxiety Weighted Blanket”. The … Read the rest

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New advertising authority takes firm stand against quackery

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Posted 14 December 2020

By 

Board says it will rule even on advertising claims by companies that are not members

The Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) has made it clear that it will rule against companies that make unproven medical claims, even if those companies are not members of the ARB.

ARB is a self-regulating authority, and its members join it voluntarily. There has been an ongoing debate dating back to the ARB’s predecessor, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), as to whether it can make rulings about the adverts of non-members.

The ARB replaced the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after the latter went into liquidation in 2018.

The ARB has in recent months ruled that members should remove advertisements by three companies claiming the medical efficacy of their products. All three advertisements were broadcast on M-Net during the evening. M-Net is a member of the Read the rest

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Sédatif PC – does it work?

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Posted 10 December 2020

A complaint was laid with the ARB (Advertising Regulatory Board) objecting to the claims that this product is effective for stress, anxiety and minor sleep disorders. The complainant noted that stress and insomnia are disabling conditions, which means consumers would expect a product making these types of claims to be supported by objective evidence.

Furthermore, the principle of homeopathic medicine manufacture, is to dilute the primary ingredient (which in itself has no evidence of treating these conditions), to a point where the product contains no residual molecules of its original respective ingredients. Imagine diluting panado to a point where there is not a single molecule of panado left in the tablet, and then claiming it will alleviate your headache.

In other words, according to my argument, this product is no better than simply drinking a teaspoon of tap water. If you have stress, anxiety and minor Read the rest

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Homemark Detox Tea: ARB Ruling

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Posted 30 November 2020

A complaint was laid with the Advertising Regulatory Board against the claims being made for this product.

Complainant: Dr Harris Steinman
Advertiser: Homemark (Pty) Ltd
Consumer/Competitor: Consumer
File reference: 1048 – Homemark Detox Tea – Dr Harris Steinman
Outcome: Upheld
Date: 24 November 2020

The Directorate of the Advertising Regulatory Board has been called on to consider a complaint by Dr Harris Steinman against Homemark’s television commercial promoting its Remedy Health “Detox Tea”. According to the Complainant, this commercial flighted on M-Net at 22:11 on 23 September 2020, and an extended version thereof is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPGnERvZ2Ho.

Description of the Advertising

The television commercial opens with a grey colour tone, showing several people looking tired, irritable, struggling to fit in their pants, rubbing their stomachs and appearing generally lethargic. During these scenes, the voice-over states “Not interested in life anymore? We’re just not full Read the rest

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Homemark Remedy Health Detox Foot Patches: ARB Ruling

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Posted 30 November 2020

A complaint was laid with the Advertising Regulatory Board against the claims being made for this product.

Complainant: Dr Harris Steinman
Advertiser: Homemark (Pty) Ltd
Consumer/Competitor: Consumer
File reference: 1085 – Homemark Remedy Health Detox Foot Patches – Dr Harris Steinman
Outcome: Upheld
Date: 24 November 2020

The Directorate of the Advertising Regulatory Board has been called on to consider a complaint by Dr Harris Steinman against Homemark’s website advertising promoting its “Remedy Health Detox Foot Patches”. The relevant advertising is accessible via https://homemark.co.za/collections/remedy-health/products/remedy-health-detox-foot-patches.

Description of the Advertising

The advertising notes, inter alia, that “The Remedy Health Detox Pads are used on the feet according to the Chinese tradition of foot reflexology. Detox patches are said to stimulate nerve endings on the bottom of your feet and improving energy flow and resolve circulation to problem areas of the body, clearing toxins build-up and Read the rest

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