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New advertising authority takes firm stand against quackery

Posted 14 December 2020

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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

Sédatif PC – does it work?

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

Homemark Detox Tea: ARB Ruling

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

Homemark Remedy Health Detox Foot Patches: ARB Ruling

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

Homemark Aragan Secret Nail Treatment : ARB Ruling

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: 1075 – Homemark Aragan Secret Nail Treatment  – 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 “Aragan Secret Nail Treatment” product. The Complainant saw the commercial on M-Net at 21:10 on 23 September 2020.

Description of the Advertising

The commercial opens with various images of severely damaged and discoloured fingernails and toenails, while the voice-over states:

Ingrown, thick, flaky, brittle, what a nightmare or worse, of embarrassing deformed nails destroying your sanity. Morocco’s best kept secret; Aragan Secret Nail Treatment, is your answer to beautiful and moisturised nails. The legendary Read the rest

Advertising Regulatory Board: Herbex Ultraslim Ruling

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. 

Decision of the ADVERTISING REGULATORY BOARD

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
Read the rest

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

ADVERTISING STANDARDS AUTHORITY (ASA) CLOSES DOWN TODAY

TO ALL STAKEHOLDERS AND CONTACTS

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.

Read the rest

Natural Cycles: ASA investigates marketing for contraception app

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.

Read the rest

UK ASA Ruling: Elle Fox t/a Bubbling Life

Posted 18 July 2018

A website for alternative therapy provider Bubbling Life (www.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.

Read the rest