New South African Advertising Regulatory Board replaces ASA

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

Advertising Standards Authority closes

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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Herbex Fat Burn For Men – ASA ruling

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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Wondernut -ASA ruling

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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Advertising that misleads, curbed

Posted 10 October 2017

This article published in Die Rapport on 08 October 2017, written by Elaine Swanepoel, reports on the recent Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) where Herbex lost their attempt to prevent the ASA from impacting their advertising in the media. Herbex took the ASA to court arguing that the ASA has no jurisdiction over the unproven claims they make for their products. The High Court agreed – Herbex won. However, the ASA appealed to the SCA – Herbex lost.

Although Herbex gained some concessions, in general, it was a major loss. That is not how Herbex sees it – as reported in their media release (quoted at the end of the article), and reported on here.

The English translation (Google Translate), follows the article below

‘Reklame wat om die bos lei’ bekamp

Deur Elaine Swanepoel 08 Oktober 2017 

Die Rapport

Dit gaan in die toekoms moeiliker Read the rest

Herbex misleads after legal setback

Posted 06 October 2017

[note note_color=”#fcf74d”]The ASA CAN issue rulings on the adverts of non-members

Notably, the SCA order overturned the interdict that prevented the ASA from making rulings on complaints involving Herbex as well as allowing the ASA to place adverse rulings against any advertiser or publisher on its website. (Herbex took the ASA to court: to prevent rulings against Herbex)
ASA=Advertising Standards Authority[/note]

By Safura Abdool Karim and Nathan Geffen    

Herbex, an alternative health supplement company that attempted to stop the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruling on its adverts, has released a press statement with several misleading claims. Herbex’s statement is at the bottom of this article.

About four years ago the ASA ruled against Herbex adverts that claimed that Appetite Control TabletsBooster Eat Less and Attack the Fat Syrup reduced weight. Herbex estimated lossesof several million rand over a

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Supreme Court of Appeal gives Advertising Authority (ASA) its fangs back

Posted 02 October 2017

This article was originally published in GroundUp on 30 September 2017. We have been granted permission to republish here.

The judgement in The Advertising Standards Authority v Herbex (Pty) Ltd (902/16) [2017] ZASCA 132 is accessible at

Blow dealt to advertisers of quack medicines

By Safura Abdool Karim    

Good news for consumers and bad news for companies that promote junk medicine: On Friday the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) overturned a High Court decision that had essentially rendered the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) toothless. The SCA order was a settlement between the ASA and a company called Herbex, but it’s clear from the terms of the settlement that the ASA is the real winner in this case.

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ASA undergoes radical restructuring, ready for business

Posted 22 August 2017

The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) has undergone radical restructuring with a new acting CEO in place, major fundraising underway and various business rescue recommendations being implemented.

Gail Schimmel, advertising law specialist and acting CEO of the organisation since June, says the ASA had become “removed from the industry and somewhat arrogant. It is my belief that the ASA is essentially a servant of the industry, and we are trying to rebuild relationships and reignite the feeling in industry that we ‘belong’ to them,” Schimmel told The Media Online.

Schimmel says a business rescue plan was accepted at the ASA’s annual general meeting in April. Since then, a new board has been appointed; 14 people retrenched, including two with the highest salary packages; an acting CEO was appointed; 60% of its premises

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The ASA making moves – An Update

Posted 19 June 2017

From Afro-IP:

It has been six weeks or since you last heard from us on the predicament of the ASA in South Africa. Recently, their new acting CEO – Gail Schimmel – took time out to speak with Afro-IP on developments. Upbeat and positive, Gail is addressing the main issues raised in the Business Rescue

Report as follows:
Short Term Funding
The ASA is calling on every single player in this industry – every agency, every marketer, every advertiser, every media owner and the lawyers – to pre-pay ONE ASA filing fee (R24 396 including VAT).

The article states:

To address concerns over jurisdiction highlighted in the Herbex case (which the ASA currently appealing) Gail aims to address these in its memberships contracts which is consistent with the recommendation in the Business Rescue Report. This means that where mainstream associations are involved, it could Read the rest

In the UK Herbex removes its claims; in SA, Herbex takes the ASA to court

Posted o4 January 2017

In June 2016, a complaint was lodged with the UK Advertising Standards Authority against website claims being made by Herbex in the UK. The claims were that Herbex is a herbal drink that “boosts metabolism, increases energy and controls appetite”. It is likely that, as in South Africa, the UK ASA was provided with evidence based on the botanical substances (ingredients) contained in the product. Herbex then agreed (after negotiation?) to withdraw the claims. This has now been done. The complaint is listed on the UK ASA’s website under “informally resolved cases” at: (scroll down to Herbex (PTY) Ltd). The list is prefaced with the following statement: “After consideration by the [UK] ASA of complaints received, the following companies and organisations agreed to amend or withdraw advertising without the need for a formal ruling.”

In South Africa, Herbex was ruled against by the Final Appeal … Read the rest