Archive | Rulings

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

Advertising Regulatory Board: Herbex Ultraslim Ruling

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Posted 11 November 2020

A complaint was laid with the Advertising Regulatory Board (ABR) against the misleading claims of Herbex Ultraslim. The complainant argued that based on evidence, the product is unlikely to have any benefit on weight-loss. 


The Directorate of the Advertising Regulatory Board has been called on to consider a complaint by Dr Steinman against television and website advertising for Herbex Ultraslim.

Complainant:     Dr Harris Steinman
Advertiser:         Newgroup (Pty) Ltd
Consumer/Competitor:   Consumer
File reference:   1055 – Herbex Ultraslim – Harris Steinman
Outcome:           Upheld
Date:                  10 November 2020

Description of the Advertising

The commercial, which appeared on M-Net during Carte Blanche, made the following claims:

• Herbex ultraslim a weight-loss evolution
• South Africa’s number 1 slimming brand
• 25 years refining the science of weight loss
• Balances blood sugar
• Preventing belly fat
• Aids digestion to improve Gut Health
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New South African Advertising Regulatory Board replaces ASA

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Posted 14 November 2018

Readers will be aware that the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) is no more and is being liquidated.

Gail Schimmel, a lawyer, and the individual who tried to rescue the ASA, has launched a new advertising body. Known as the Advertising Regulatory Board, their intention is to replace the ASA and utilise the same codes and regulations that the previous ASA utilised. In a recent interview on Cape Talk / 702, she made the point that the code and regulations were not owned by the ASA but were localised and based on international standards and codes.

The new board, ARB, states on their website:
“The original core members of the ASA – the Marketing Association of South Africa (MASA), the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) and the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) – all became founding members of the Advertising Regulatory Board Read the rest

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Advertising Standards Authority closes

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Posted 3 October 2018



Please take note that the ASA has been put into liquidation and we have been instructed to stop trading with immediate effect.

The marketing and advertising industry will not allow advertising to remain unregulated, and a new entity with the same purpose is urgently being established.

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Natural Cycles: ASA investigates marketing for contraception app

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Posted 30 July 2018

Advertising watchdog launches formal investigation over description of product

Maev Kennedy Sun 29 Jul 2018 

The Guardian

The Advertising Standards Authority has launched a formal investigation into marketing for a Swedish app that claims to be an effective method of contraception, after reports that women have become pregnant while using it.

An ASA spokesman said it had received three complaints about Natural Cycles and its paid advertising on Facebook, which describes the app as highly accurate contraception that has been clinically tested.

“We would require robust substantiation from any company to support such a claim,” he said.

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UK ASA Ruling: Elle Fox t/a Bubbling Life

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Posted 18 July 2018

A website for alternative therapy provider Bubbling Life (, featured a page headed ‘CEASE Functional Solutions for Medication & Vaccine Consequences’, which included text that stated “… Dr Tinus Smits, the founder of CEASE, having seen over 300 cases of all levels of severity, concluded that CEASE is a ‘very effective way to address ASD and autism with amazing results.’ In his clinical experience, autism is an accumulation of different causes with about 70% due to vaccines, 25% due to medication and other toxic substances and 5% due to certain diseases”.

A complainant challenged whether the claims, among other, made in relation to the causes of autism on the page titled ‘CEASE Functional Solutions for Medication & Vaccine Consequences’ discouraged essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought.

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Herbex Fat Burn For Men – ASA ruling

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Posted 31 May 2018

In our post of 8th May 2018, Herbex Fat Burn for Men – paying for nothing, we pointed out that this product contains 3 ingredients. We measured the level of green tea constituents in a lab, and could work out that, as we stated:

In other words, Herbex Fat Burn claims that a mixture of about half a bag of green tea leaves, caffeine found in 7.5 mls of a cup of coffee, and Ginseng traditionally used to stimulate appetite, added to 1 litre of water to be drunk throughout the day, will result in weight loss.

In other words, this product is highly unlikely to have much more than a placebo effect.

A complaint was laid with the Advertising Standards Authority. Herbex refused to submit any evidence to contradict ours. Below is the ruling.

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Alpecin “can actually help to reduce hair loss” – Not actually true

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Posted 10 April 2018

A a consultant trichologist submitted a complaint to the UK ASA challenging whether the claim that Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo could “help to reduce hair loss” could be substantiated.

“A regional press ad for Alpecin Caffeine C1 Shampoo stated “GERMAN ENGINEERING FOR YOUR HAIR” and “Shampoo is too small a word for it. Alpecin provides caffeine to your hair, so it can actually help to reduce hair loss. Simply apply daily and leave on for 2 minutes … to help the Caffeine Complex penetrate your hair and scalp”.”

The UK ASA concluded: “Taking into account the body of evidence as a whole, we considered that we had not seen any studies of the actual product as used by consumers on their scalp using an accurate and objective analysis of hair growth, in a well-designed and well-conducted trial. We concluded that the claim “it can actually help to Read the rest

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Wondernut -ASA ruling

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Posted 21 March 2018

In spite of CamCheck highlighting the false claims being made for this product, as well as the MCC statement, Wondernut continued to make false claims for this product. It is evident from the ‘comments’ section that Wondernut agents have read CamCheck postings, but continue to sell this product. That alone makes their actions disgusting.

A complaint was laid with the ASA regarding the false claims being made for this product.

The ASA have ruled against the product’s claims, including the absolute rubbish claim that the product is homeopathic!

ASA: “Given this, all the claims listed by the Complainant, in so far as they appear anywhere on the Facebook page, including but not limited to the ”about” section, are unsubstantiated at this time.”

If the company starts with a lie, how can one believe anything else they say?

ASA Ruling

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Copper Heelers

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Posted on 17 January 2018

Do Copper Heelers have any benefits?

Claims are made that using this product will alleviate a number of conditions: “Aching feet; Swollen legs; Back & neck problems; Shoulder problems; Wrinkles; Sagging skin; Poor circulation; Sexual dysfunction; Postural problems; Poor digestive function; Cardiovascular activity”.

A consumer complained to the UK ASA regarding the claims being made for this product.

The company was asked to substantiate the claims, but as they could not provide evidence to support these, agreed to change the advert.

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UK ASA Ruling on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

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Posted 21 December 2017

A complaint was laid with the UK ASA. The complainant, an inspector for the Care Quality Commission, challenged whether the efficacy claims that hyperbaric oxygen therapy could treat the following were misleading and could be substantiated: burns, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, hearing loss, interstitial cystitis, leg ulcers, peripheral neuropathy, referred pain, sciatica, varicose ulcers and varicose veins, Addison’s and Hasimoto’s diseases, anaemia, diabetes, brain injuries, candida, carbon monoxide poisoning, cognitive disorders in the elderly, heart attacks, infertility and IVF, Lymes [sic] disease, migraines, motor neurone disease, MRSA, multiple sclerosis, stroke recovery, Parkinson’s disease, prostatitis, soft tissue infections and urine infections.

We (UK ASA) considered that a suitable body of evidence would be required to support each of the claims. The Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Centre did not provide any evidence to support their claims that HBOT could be used to treat . . .

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