Formule Naturelle Milk Thistle – ASA ruling

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Posted 20 February 2013

A consumer laid a complaint against a Facebook page promoting the respondent’s “FORMULA Naturelle” Milk Thistle product. The page lists the historic use and purported benefits of Milk Thistle as a natural remedy for, inter alia, “… liver and gallbladder disorders …”

The complainant submitted that the advertising lists Silybum marianum as an ingredient. This is a schedule 3 substance, making it illegal for the respondent to be advertising this product to persons other than medical practitioners.

Formule Naturelle Milk Thistle / R Jobson / 21506
Ruling of the : ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
Professor M R Jobson Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)
Litha Pharma (Pty) Ltd Respondent

 

15 Feb 2013

http://www.asasa.org.za/ResultDetail.aspx?Ruling=6399
 Professor Jobson lodged a consumer complaint against a Facebook page promoting the respondent’s “FORMULA Naturelle” Milk Thistle product. The page lists the historic use and purported benefits of Milk Thistle as a natural remedy for, inter alia, “… liver and gallbladder disorders …”

COMPLAINT
The complainant submitted that the advertising lists Silybum marianum as an ingredient. This is a schedule 3 substance, making it illegal for the respondent to be advertising this product to persons other than medical practitioners. The advertising also fails to inform people that a prescription is needed for this product. As a result, the advertising is in contravention of the provisions of the Code relating to misleading claims and legality.

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 – Substantiation

• Section II, Clause 4.2.1 – Misleading claims

RESPONSE
The respondent submitted that the facebook page for Formule Naturelle Milk Thistle has been shut down.

ASA DIRECTORATE RULING
The ASA Directorate considered all 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, the undertaking may, at the discretion of the ASA, be accepted without considering the merits of the matter.

As the respondent’s undertaking to remove the facebook page addresses the complainant’s concerns, there is no need for the Directorate to consider the merits of the matter at this time.

The undertaking is therefore accepted on condition that the advertising is withdrawn 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 also drawn to the provisions of Clause 15.5 of the Procedural Guide, which effectively requires it to withdraw this advertising from any and all media in which it may appear.

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3 Responses to Formule Naturelle Milk Thistle – ASA ruling

  1. yvonne 27 September, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    Does Milk thistle help for spleen inflamation also
    yvonne

  2. Harris 27 September, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    @Yvonne
    The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD) mentions that milk thistle has been used for a number of conditions, including “diseases of the spleen”, based on the “belief” that it has a benefit. But examining evidence whether it actually works, the NMCD reports that there is no evidence that it does actually assist the spleen in any way.

  3. Lizié 21 January, 2017 at 8:47 am #

    Dis n fantasiese produk en dit werk.saam gebed ook.Dankie Elizabeth De Beer

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