Posted 30 March 2014
This is an old ASA ruling. Erex is a product that claims to assist men by making them “Hard and healthy …naturally” and to benefit and “boost your sex life…”. A complaint was laid with the ASA in 2007 against these claims and Erex were not able to prove that they are possible, yet Dischem still continues to sell this product today. Now that is a long life for a scam!
Dr Steinman lodged a consumer complaint against a More to Life Health advertisement for its Erex product that appeared in the Sunday Times newspaper during June 2007.
The advertisement is headed:
“Hard and healthy …naturally”
“Erex presents 3 new products to boost your sex life…”
The advertisement features boxes of the products and makes the following claims, inter alia:
“EREX “1 HOUR BEFORE” CAPSULE
With Elongifolia Extract, Tribulis, Taurine and Ginseng to boost performance before arousal”.
“L – Arginine and Pine Bark extract capsule. effective blend to improve performance”.
At the bottom of the advertisement it states “M.C.C. Category: Complimentary medicine”. There is also an insert on the “crucial role” that Nitric Oxide plays in men’s sexual performance.
In essence, the complainant submitted that the above claims are false and unsubstantiated, and therefore the advertisement is misleading
He submitted further that the MCC category number creates the impression that the product is registered with the MCC, which is misleading.
RELEVANT CLAUSES OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
In light of the complaint the following clauses of the Code were taken into account:
• Section II, Clause 3.3 – Legality
• Section II, Clause 4.1 – Substantiation
• Section II, Clause 4.2.1 – Misleading claims
• Appendix F – References to diseases in advertising
The respondent submitted that it will amend the advertisement in order to address the concerns raised by the complainant. These amendments, which the respondent detailed, will be overseen by Allison Vienings of MRA regulatory consultants.
ASA DIRECTORATE RULING
The ASA Directorate considered the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.
The ASA has a long standing principle which holds that where an advertiser provides an unequivocal undertaking to withdraw or amend its advertising in a manner that addresses the concerns raised, that undertaking is accepted without considering the merits of the matter.
The respondent indicated that the advertisement will be amended in its current format. This undertaking appears to address the complainant’s concerns. Accordingly, there is no need for the Directorate to consider the merits of the matter.
This undertaking is therefore accepted on condition that the advertisement complained of is amended in its current format within the deadlines stipulated in Clause 15.3 of the Procedural Guide and is not used again in future.
The respondent’s attention is drawn to Clause 15.5 of the Procedural Guide.