Posted 08 September 2014
A consumer complaint was laid against Homemark’s packaging of its “Aragan Secret Nail Treatment”. The complainant submitted, in essence, that the list of ingredients on the label is misleading as the actual product only contains peroxide. The complainant further added that the product in question is not manufactured in Israel contrary to what the packaging claims.
The ASA found that Homemark had not been able to supply proof to counter the complaint.
Aragan Secret Nail Treatment / B Espie / 2014 – 1094F
Ruling of the : ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
Bonnie Espie Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)
Homemark (Pty) Ltd Respondent
20 Aug 2014
Ms Espie lodged a consumer complaint against Homemark’s packaging of its “Aragan Secret Nail Treatment”.
The complainant supplied the Directorate with a copy of what she submits as the back label of the product in question, which contains, inter alia, the claim “Made in Israel” and lists its ingredients as:
“Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil”
“Melaleuca Aiternilolia (Tea Tree) Oil”
“Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil”
“Argania Spinosa ((Argan Moroccan Oil)”
“Punica granatum extract”
The complainant submitted, in essence, that the list of ingredients on the label is misleading as the actual product only contains peroxide. The complainant further added that the product in question is not manufactured in Israel contrary to what the packaging claims.
RELEVANT CLAUSES OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
In light of the complaint the following clauses of the Code were considered relevant:
Clause 13 of Section II – Substantiation
Clause 14 of Section II – Misleading claims
The respondent submitted, inter alia, that the product is manufactured in Israel. The respondent also attached copies of the following documents:
A certificate of Analysis
Manufacturer’s formula certificate
Material safety Date Sheet
ASA DIRECTORATE RULING
The ASA Directorate considered all the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.
Clause 4.1 of Section II specifies that advertisers must hold in their possession acceptable proof that either emanates from, or was evaluated by an entity that is regarded as an independent and credible expert in the field to which the claims relate. It is also trite that substantiation should relate to the product being advertised.
The complainant effectively asked for proof that the product is manufactured in Israel and also that the listed ingredients are contained in the product.
Clause 4.1 of Section II of the Code requires advertisers to hold satisfactory documentary evidence of any direct or implied claims made. It stipulates that such evidence must emanate from, or be evaluated by an independent and credible expert in the field to which the claims relate.
It is also trite that the Directorate requires product-specific substantiation. The Directorate notes that the respondent has submitted unauthenticated copies of certificates that appear to emanate from Fungusless (the manufacturer), bearing the Standards Institute of Israel’s logo. The Code requires the respondent to submit independently verified documentation with regard to substantiation where the advertiser relies on internally generated documentation as proof of claims made in its advertising. The Directorate also wishes to point out that the respondent has submitted documentation about a product referred in its substantiation documentation as “Purity Nail” and no reference is made to “Aragan Secret Nail Treatment” within the said documentation or its link to “Purity Nail”.
In light of the above, and in keeping with the long-standing approach, the Directorate is satisfied that the respondent ought to hold adequate, independent substantiation that unequivocally verifies that the product in question is manufactured in Israel and also that it contains the listed ingredients.
Given the inadequacies highlighted above, the Directorate does not accept the substantiation relied on by the respondent, and accordingly finds the claim “Made in Israel” as well as the claimed product ingredients that are listed above, unsubstantiated and in contravention of Clause 4.1 of Section II of the Code.
In light of the above finding, the respondent is required to:
withdraw the said claims in their current format;
action the process to withdraw the said claims with immediate effect on receipt of the ruling;
complete the withdrawal of the said claims within the deadlines stipulated by Clause 15.3 of the Procedural Guide; and
refrain from using the said claims again in their current format unless new substantiation has been submitted, evaluated, and accepted by way of a subsequent Directorate ruling.
.The complaint is upheld, and the respondent’s attention is specifically drawn to the provisions of Clause 15.5 of the Procedural Guide, which requires offending claims to be removed from any media in which they appear.