Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) South Africa to join ASA as core member

Posted 21 November 2016

Readers may be aware that the Advertising Standards Authority is in trouble. They have instituted a Business Rescue plan. This has resulted from among other, legal action by Herbex, Antagolin, USN, Homemark and others, challenging the ASA’s jurisdiction in the High Court. The ASA have also applied to the National Consumer Commission for accreditation as the ombudsman over all advertising.

It is therefore very interesting that “IAB SA resolved at its AGM on 26 October 2016 to apply for core membership of the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA), a move which the IAB Board believes will bolster the self-regulatory framework established by the advertising industry 48 years ago and bring much-needed digital best practice and know-how to the ASA”.

Read more in BizCommunity

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Advertising Standards Authority – Business Rescue: Press reports

Posted 16 November 2016

Following a media release from the ASA of the 15th November 2016 with regard to voluntarily commencing Business Rescue proceedings, the following related articles have been published in the media:


Sunday Times / Times Live (essentially the GroundUp article)


Business Day

SA Creatives

Fin 24


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Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa placed into Business Rescue.

Posted 15 November 2016

It is sad to read that thanks to, among other, legal action by Herbex, Antagolin, USN, Homemark and others, challenging the ASA’s jurisdiction, has had a major impact on the operating funds of the ASA. Even the Health Products Association of South Africa (HPA) has not renewed its membership. This has resulted in the ASA having to be placed into Business Rescue. As documented on CamCheck, these companies are responsible for selling products with little or no evidence of efficacy to consumers. The ASA’s role has been to prevent South African consumers from being duped by companies making false claims, and therefore defrauding consumers.  All of the companies are represented by the lawyer, Saul Shoot of Fluxmans.

It must be noted that the court cases have not challenged the ASA’s rulings on the merits of the advertising. It’s been more of an issue … Read the rest

Healthy Nursing Tea

Posted 30 October 2016

A consumer laid a complaint against the claims for Healthy Nursing Tea, which claims among other, “Enhance the quality and quantity of your breast milk production while nursing …”, that it delivers “… a nutrient rich blend of vitamins and minerals through you and your milk …”, that it is “… infused with calming ingredients …” and that “This ancient formula has been used for centuries to boost the lactation and to sooth the digestive system in both mother and child”.

The ASA declined to make a ruling pointing out that “The objection, which is based on an incorrect assumption that advertising is required to list (cite) specific scientific reference material, therefore does not accord with the provisions of the Code”.

The product contains: Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel); Anise Seeds and Nettle Leaf Tea, “all of which are categorised as “Galactagogues”, known to promote lactation Read the rest

Revivo Capsules – ASA ruling

Posted 20 October 2016

This ruling points out that the advertiser has yet again made unsubstantiated health claims about its Revivo product.

[quote]It seems that they dont [sic] really want people to be cured from immune weakness, from HIV, from rapid aging, from chronic fatigue. Maybe they prefer that people remain sick for life.

Well, thats [sic] not what we wanted, we persevered and persisted and today Revivo is still available, and its [sic] still the worlds [sic] number 1 immune supplement.[/quote]

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Advertising Standards Authority – proposal to become Advertising Ombudsman

Posted 06 September 2016

Mr. Ebrahim Mohamed, the Commissioner of the National Consumer Commission (NCC), has published a proposed industry code and ombudsman scheme for the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) for  public comment in terms of section 82(3)(a) of the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008(Act No. 68 of 2008).

The Code specifically deals with the resolution of complaints of prohibited conduct and the failure to comply with required conduct in respect of advertising and marketing of goods and services to consumers as provided for and envisaged by and within the scope of the Act.

The code incorporate the recognition of an ombudsman scheme for alternative dispute resolution of complaints. In accordance with section 82(3)(a) and (b) of the Act No. 68 of 2008, the National Consumer Commission is required to publish the proposed industry code for  public comment and consider any submissions made during the public  … Read the rest

Stronger oversight may protect South Africans from misleading advertising

Posted 23 August 2016

An article by Dr Rudi de Lange, Associate Professor in Visual Communication, Tshwane University of Technology, published on August 16, 2016 to The Conversation.

Stronger oversight may protect South Africans from misleading advertising

South Africa has an effective and functioning advertising self-regulator. But it doesn’t always work as it should. The self-regulatory regime in place cannot do enough to protect consumers because it is based on the willing cooperation of advertisers.

The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa’s (ASASA) Advertising Code of Practice requires advertisements to be legal, decent, honest and truthful. It is based on an international code and is similar to advertising codes in most developed and developing countries, such as the UK, Australia and Malaysia. But ASASA is not a statutory body and it does not have the teeth to enforce its rulings on non-members. It cannot impose penalties on advertisers and … Read the rest

Immunadue – ASA ruling

Posted 08 July 2016

A consumer lodged a complaint against the Immunadue’s print advertisement appearing on the front page of the Beeld Newspaper on 28 March 2016.

The advertisement is headed “Kry ‘n perfekte pH balans met Immunadue” (obtain a perfect pH balance with Immunadue). It features a photograph of a family, with a chart depicting the following illnesses on an inverted bell-curve:

  • “Artritis” (Arthritis)
  • “Stres” (Stress)
  • “Sommige Kankers” (Certain Cancers)
  • “Inflamasie” (Inflammation)
  • “Diabetes”
  • “Jig” (Gout)
  • “Osteoporose” (Osteoporosis)

The complainant submitted that “There is no scientific proof that this type of ‘medication’ can alter blood or tissue pH level to the extent that it can be beneficial in treating the conditions listed in the advertisement. This is fraudulent information, it misleads the public and can lead to serious complications and even death in patients that might discontinue their own medication to switch to this product”.

The ASA Directorate considered all … Read the rest

ASA launches appeal against Herbex High Court ruling

Posted 03 June 2016

As previously posted here, Herbex took the ASA to the High Court arguing that the ASA has no jurisdiction over the claims Herbex made for their products.

Acting Judge D T v R Du Plessis  ruled in Herbex’s favour. This should be contrasted with the ruling made by the highly respected former Constitutional Court Judge, Kate O’Regan, who considered the very same argument in a Final Appeal Committee (FAC) ruling. Herbex argued, among other, that although they are members of the HPA, and although the HPA are members of the ASA, that Herbex are not members of the ASA – and therefore that the ASA has no jurisdiction over their false claims.

Lawyers for the HPA joined those of Herbex in the latter’s appeal. Usually the FAC comprises 3 additional members, but because of the gravity of the appeal, this was increased to 5, and … Read the rest

Court action: Herbex vs ASA

Posted 15 May 2016

As a consumer, do you care about whether or not the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has “jurisdiction” over the advertising of a product or a company selling certain products? Or do you want to be sure that the advertising is not false and misleading, so that you don’t waste your hard-earned money?

In court judgement dated 5 May, the Gauteng local division of the High Court ruled that the ASA had no jurisdiction over Herbex, because Herbex was not a member of the ASA. The overriding issue of interest to consumers is not about jurisdiction, but about whether or not the products work as claimed in the advertising. The issue of “effectiveness” was not included in the court challenge. However the EFFECT of the jurisdiction ruling, has left the issue of the effectiveness of the products (and their advertising) unaddressed. The previous rulings of the … Read the rest