Posted 26 July 2014
A consumer lodged a consumer complaint with the ASA against Easy Slimming Solutions’ Facebook advertisement that was published at www.facebook.com/suidkus. The complainant submitted, in essence, that the advertisement is misleading as there are no studies to verify the claim that the advertised product is totally natural.
Seems like the owner of this company, Danie Robberts (Tel: 0745613864), is an unapologetic liar, claiming that the ASA did not object to their claims: “When he questioned the respondent on the evidence, he was informed that the ASA had already considered the respondent’s evidence and that he could contact the ASA for verification.” He and Tracy Robberts are also the scam artists behind Kangmei capsules.
Not only do they sell these scams, but forget getting a refund for your purchase.
Easy Slimming Solutions / H Lintvelt / 2014 – 994F
Ruling of the : ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
Mr H Lintvelt Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)
Robberts Easy Slimming Solutions (Pty) Ltd t/a Easy Slimming Solutions Respondent
11 Jul 2014
Mr Lintvelt lodged a consumer complaint against Easy Slimming Solutions’ Facebook advertisement that was published at www.facebook.com/suidkus.adverteer.
The advertisement contains, inter alia, “before and after” photographs of several overweight people, one claiming to be “Anicka Wickens”, and promotes the respondent’s Easy Slimming Solution weight loss product. It claims, inter alia, that this is a “100% NATUURLIKE PRODUKTE” (100% Natural Products).
The complainant submitted, in essence, that the advertisement is misleading as there are no studies to verify the claim that the advertised product is totally natural.
When he questioned the respondent on the evidence, he was informed that the ASA had already considered the respondent’s evidence and that he could contact the ASA for verification.
RELEVANT CLAUSES OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
The Directorate considered the following clauses of the Code as relevant:
Clause 4.1 of Section II – Substantiation
Clause 4.2.1 of Section II – Misleading claims
Clause 10 of Section II – Testimonials
The respondent submitted, inter alia, copies of the following:
What appears to be a forwarded email message from “Anika Wickens” that purports to be a testimonial of some sorts.
An illegible certificate written in foreign language.
An invoice to “Joey”, dated 2 July 2014.
ASA DIRECTORATE RULING
The ASA Directorate considered all the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.
The complainant’s only point of contention relates to the claim that the product is “100% NATUURLIK” (100% Natural), there is no need for the Directorate to consider the provisions of Clause 10 of Section II (Testimonials) at this stage. This ruling will therefore only consider whether or not the disputed claim appears to be true.
Substantiation and Misleading claims
Clause 4.1 of Section II states, inter alia, that advertisers shall hold documentary evidence to support all claims that are capable of objective substantiation. Clause 4.1.4 further states that documentary evidence, other than survey data, shall emanate from or be evaluated by a person or entity which is independent, credible, and an expert in the particular field to which the claims relate and be acceptable to the ASA.
Other than submitting an illegible document that appears to be written in a foreign language, the respondent has submitted nothing to prove that its claim of selling 100% natural products is true or accurate. It also did not refute the complainant’s allegations that the respondent claims to have had the ASA approve its products.
It should be noted that no ASA approval had been granted to the respondent or its products.
Similarly, the lack of evidence for the claim “100% NATUURLIKE PRODUKTE” means that this claim is currently not only unsubstantiated, but likely to mislead consumers about the nature of the respondent’s products.
Based on the above, the claim “100% NATUURLIKE PRODUKTE” is in breach of Clause 4.1 of Section II of the Code as well as Clause 4.2.1 of Section II of the Code.
Given the above finding:
The claim “100% NATUURLIKE PRODUKTE” must be withdrawn;
The process to withdraw the claim “100% NATUURLIKE PRODUKTE” must be actioned with immediate effect on receipt of ruling;
The withdrawal of the claim “100% NATUURLIKE PRODUKTE” must be completed within the deadlines stipulated by Clause 15.3 of the Procedural Guide; and
The claim “100% NATUURLIKE PRODUKTE” may not be used again in its current format until adequate, independent verification is supplied.
The Directorate also wishes to draw the requirements of Clause 15.5 of the Procedural Guide to the respondent’s attention, which states that offending advertising is to be withdrawn from every medium in which it appears, notwithstanding that the complaint did not specifically refer to that particular medium.
The complaint is upheld.