ConcenTrace – ASA ruling

Posted 1 October 2013

TraceMineralsBottleA consumer lodged a consumer complaint against a print advertisement for the respondent’s “ConcenTrace Ionic Mineral Drops” that appeared in the Cape Times on 25 June 2013 which claimed it ” . . will help improve the pH balance in your body, give a boost to your body’s immune system and maintain healthy energy levels by providing your body’s electrical system the minerals it needs.

The consumer argued that there is no evidence that this is possible or true. The company were unable to supply evidence in support of their claims.

[In fact, viewing their website, it is a perfect example of pseudoscience – including the nonsense of  Live Blood Analysis]

Concentrace / K Charleston / 22474
Ruling of the : ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
Kevin Charleston Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)
H.E.S Minerals Research (Pty) Ltd Respondent

26 Sep 2013
http://www.asasa.org.za/ResultDetail.aspx?Ruling=6695

Mr Charleston lodged a consumer complaint against a print advertisement for the respondent’s “ConcenTrace Ionic Mineral Drops” that appeared in the Cape Times on 25 June 2013.

The advertisement promotes the product under the auspices that “Using ConcenTrace daily will help improve the pH balance in your body, give a boost to your body’s immune system and maintain healthy energy levels by providing your body’s electrical system the minerals it needs.” It also explains that the human body needs trace minerals to act as “… the catalyst for all the vitamins and other nutrients your body needs for developing and maintaining good health”, and that “ConcenTrace captures the perfect balance of ionic minerals & trace elements”.

COMPLAINT
The complainant submitted that the advertisement is misleading and hyperbolic and cannot be substantiated in terms of the Code. He explained that human bodies vary to a degree that makes it implausible if not impossible to take one single supplement and either increase acid levels, or increase base levels. He added that not all nutrients and vitamins require catalysts or minerals to act as catalyst in order to maintain good health.

RELEVANT CLAUSES OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
The complainant identified the following clauses of the Code as relevant:

• Section II, Clause 4.1 (Substantiation)

• Section II, Clause 4.2.2 (Puffery)

RESPONSE
The respondent submitted that the advertisement in question was withdrawn after 25 June 2013 and would not be repeated.

ASA DIRECTORATE RULING
The ASA Directorate considered all the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.

In terms of the Code and a long-standing principle held in previous rulings, the Directorate has discretion to decide whether or not an unequivocal undertaking to remove or amend the advertising complained of is an adequate resolution to the matter.

The respondent’s undertaking appears to address the complainants’ concerns and there is therefore no need for the Directorate to consider the merits of the matter at this time.

The undertaking is accepted on condition that the advertisement is not used again in future in its current format in future. The respondent’s attention is also drawn to the provisions of Clause 15.5 of the Procedural Guide.

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