Archive | ASA (UK) Rulings

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

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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

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UK ASA ruling on claims for OmegaLabs’ Dermalex Eczema

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Posted 21 December 2016

OmegaLabs took the MCC to court recently, as mentioned in a GroundUp article.

Coincidentally, a complaint had been laid in the UK at the ASA against claims being made for one of their products: a press ad for Dermalex Eczema promoted a skin treatment cream for eczema. The advert stated, “AS EFFECTIVE AS A STEROID CREAM¹”. A footnote for the claim stated “¹Average symptom improvement over 6 weeks, when compared to Hydrocortisone 1% in petrolatum-cetomacrogol”. In the right-hand circle, text stated, “HYDRATES BETTER THAN AN EMOLLIENT²”. A footnote for that claim stated “²emollients containing unguentum leniens”. In the middle of the Venn diagram, text stated “BREAKTHROUGH ECZEMA TREATMENT”. A number of high street pharmacists’ logos were shown towards the bottom of the ad.

A complainant argued that the claims were not true.

The UK ASA agreed.

Read the rest
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Homemark Slim and Shape

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Posted 07 December 2016

Homemark claims that Slim and Shape “Help you to look your best, giving you a natural, slim contour. All of your problem areas are targeted at once. Flattens protruding tummy, slims thighs & hips firmly, but gently, firm & lifts butt, cotton gusset keeps you dry and comfortable.”

A complaint was laid in the UK against a similar product, called Slim Panties.

The UK ASA ruled against the claims, arguing that the images were Photoshopped, and that “We concluded that the results shown in ads (a) and (b) went beyond what could be achieved from a compression garment and were therefore misleading”.


Homemark Slim and Shape (left)  – Tristar Slim Panty (right)

As usual, buyer beware!

  • UK ASA ruling:
  • Sun newspaper article:
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No!No! hair removal – claims not proven

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Posted 12 January 2016

We have previously posted an article on Mervyn Daitz notorious for his RAYMA Balance Bracelet and BodyTrim products, and the No!No! hair removal device that Consumer Reports found not to be effective.

As IOL pointed out way back in 2012, “Professor David Whitehead, called for the harshest possible sanctions, saying that the company had shown “complete disregard” for the ASA’s initial ruling as well as a lack of remorse”. “The Rayma bracelets cost between R719 and R1 139, including packaging and posting.” “. . .of course, that decorative bracelets can be bought for far less”. 

Well that did not dent Mervyn from continuing to make unsubstantiated claims for No!No! on their website,  including the claims “. . . is a doctor recommended device that is based on years of research and development” and “Guaranteed Results”.

Complaints were recently laid with the UK ASA for … Read the rest

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Thermography for breast cancer detection – UK ASA ruling

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Posted 09 September 2015

A number of alternative health practitioners in South Africa offer this unsubstantiated test to detect breast cancer. ( see below) Considering that the test does not work adequately at all, for some patients this may result in a death sentence for it may delay the detection of a true tumour.

A complaint against an advert in the UK promoting this test was laid with the UK ASA. The UK ASA upheld the complaint, stating among other, “Cancer Research UK had concluded that there was insufficient evidence to suggest that thermography provided benefit to patients as a adjunctive tool to mammography. Because of that, and in the absence of any evidence to show that thermography could detect abnormalities indicating the early development of breast cancer and therefore aid diagnosis, locate the causes of pain, or the early stages of disease more generally, we concluded that the claims Read the rest

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Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

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Posted 02 September 2015

The Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, is claimed by providers to be a “psychological acupressure technique” used to “optimize your emotional health”, or as claimed by Cathie van Rooyen on her South African website, “Classed under the banner of Energy Healing, EFT is the strangest, simplest way to get rid of negative habits, thoughts and feelings forever! Based on the ancient principles of acupuncture, EFT is a simple tapping procedure that gently realigns the body’s energy system, without the discomfort of needles.

What is the evidence for these claims?

This was tested in a complaint laid with the UK ASA against similar claims on a UK website. Not surprisingly, the owner could not furnish any evidence that this “technique” was able to fulfil the claims except based on her ‘belief’ and ‘anecdotal’ evidence.

The Skeptics Dictionary has more on this technique as … Read the rest

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UK ASA acts against USN product claims

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Posted 26 March 2015

I am reliably informed that USN has been tasked with withdrawing claims for at least four products from their UK website following a UK ASA intervention* (25 March 2015):

  • USN Xédra-Cut Ultra XT
  • USN Diet Fuel Protein Soup
  • USN Creatine Anabolic Transport System
  • USN VO2 Max Red Blood Cell & Oxygen Booster

* “After consideration by the ASA of complaints received, the following companies and organisations agreed to amend or withdraw advertising without the need for a formal investigation”; ” . . . if the ASA Council decides that an ad is in breach of the Code, the advertisers are told to withdraw or amend it. Because USN (UK) Ltd has already assured us that the advertising you complained about will be amended, we consider there is little to be gained from continuing with a formal investigation . . . ” 

The complainant has shared … Read the rest

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USN CreatineX4 – UK ruling

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Posted 18 March 2015

While researching UK ASA rulings, we came across this 2009 ruling against USN for the product “CreatineX4 New generation Creatine Ethyl Ester”. A complainant challenged the claims:

1. “Studies have shown that this form of creatine is up to 400% more effective than ordinary creatine” and
2. “CreatineX4 is unmatched in its ability to boost training intensity and recovery”.

The ASA concluded that, in the absence of sound clinical evidence, the claims “Studies have shown that this form of creatine is up to 400% more effective than ordinary creatine” and “CreatineX4 is unmatched in its ability to boost training intensity and recovery” were misleading. The ad breached CAP Code Substantiation, Truthfulness, Fair comparison and Health and beauty.

That was 2009 – yet South African consumers are still being scammed: On the Mkem website, the following statement (supplied by USN) is being made “400% more effective … Read the rest

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Magnesium absorbed through the skin?

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Posted 14 November 2014

An advertisement in the UK claimed, among other:

“Under the heading “Why transdermal delivery?” the website stated “Transdermal delivery has been proven as the most effective method of supplementation outside of a hospital environment, increasing the body’s magnesium levels up to five times faster than oral supplementation. This means the positive effects of magnesium are felt faster”.”

A physician, laid a complaint with the UK ASA challenging whether:

1. the claims related to the transdermal absorption of magnesium were misleading and could be substantiated; and
2. in the context of a topically applied product, the efficacy claims were misleading and could be substantiated.

The UK ASA ruled against all the claims (not unsurprisingly!)

Read the rest
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