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Homemark Igia Fat Blaster – ARB Ruling

Posted 07 September 2022

Homemark makes the following claims for this product:

  • “blasts away unwanted fat, smooth and softens the appearance of orange peel skin, and improves circulation”;
  • The name “Fat Blaster”;
  • “improved circulation and daily massage is proven to assist with the reduction of cellulite and orange peel skin”.

A complainant argued that these claims are false and highly unlikely. He is unable to find any evidence that this device, or a similar device, is able to satisfy the claims being made. Therefore, without evidence, the claims are unproven and will dupe the ordinary consumer into purchasing a likely useless product.

Decision of the ADVERTISING REGULATORY BOARD

Complainant: Dr Harris Steinman
Advertiser: Homemark (Pty) Ltd
Consumer/Competitor: Consumer
File reference: 2117 – Homemark Igia Fat Blaster – Dr Harris Steinman
Outcome: Upheld

Date: 2 September 2022

The Directorate of the Advertising Regulatory Board has been called upon to consider a complaint lodged by Dr Harris Steinman against a Homemark Igia Wellness Fat Blaster television commercial, as well as the advertisement of the same product that is published at https://homemark.co.za.

Description of the advertising

The television commercial features women using the product on various parts of their bodies, images of the product and its various components, and an animated illustration on how the fat skin cells below the skin surface are activated. A male voice states:

“This is the all-new fat blaster hot and cold. The six in one portable body machine designed to help shape, vibrate and blast unwanted fat in your abs, butt, love handles, legs, arms and much more. The Cryotone head for controlled fat cooling; the Cellulift head for targeted cellulite; the smoothing head for skin firming; the orange cloth with Tourmaline for heat therapy; the white cloth for skin smoothing; and the blue cloth to target bumps, bulges and love handles. Use the Cryotone round head for controlled cooling, then apply to help freeze unwanted fat cells and let the Fat Blaster do all the work. This helps to reduce bumps and lumps in your skin. The Cellulift head targets unwanted cellulite. The lifting rollers help activate the fat cells below the skin surface to use your legs to help firm and sculpt and look and feel healthier. Get the Fat Blaster system today.”

The website advertisement contains the following wording:

Igia Wellness Fat Blaster with micro-vibration and compression technology and 7 inter- changeable heads blasts away unwanted fat, smoothes and softens the appearance of orange peel skin, and improves circulation. Oscillating at more than 3 500 revolutions per minute, the Igia Wellness Fast Blaster send vibration waves through tissue to soothe aches, reduce muscle tightness, and improve circulation.

Improved circulation and daily massage is proven to assist with the reduction of cellulite and orange peel skin – now you can harness the power of these tool in one compact and ergonomic handset. For use on arms, legs and thighs, buttock, and abdomen.

Complaint

The Complainant took issue with the following claims:

  • “blasts away unwanted fat, smooth and softens the appearance of orange peel skin, and improves circulation”;
  • The name “Fat Blaster”;
  • “improved circulation and daily massage is proven to assist with the reduction of cellulite and orange peel skin”.

The Complainant argued that these claims are false and highly unlikely. He is unable to find any evidence that this device, or a similar device, is able to satisfy the claims being made. Therefore, without evidence, the claims are unproven and will dupe the ordinary consumer into purchasing a likely useless product.

Response

The Advertiser was afforded an opportunity to respond to the complaint, but submitted no response. As such, the Directorate informed the Advertiser that it would proceed to consider the complaint based on the information at hand.

Application of the Code of Advertising Practice

The Complainant cited Clause 4.1 of Section II (Substantiation) as relevant to this matter.

Decision  

Having considered all the material before it, the Directorate of the ARB issues the following finding.

Jurisdiction

The Directorate notes that the Advertiser did not respond to the complaint and is not a member of the ARB. The ARB’s Memorandum of Incorporation of the ARB states:

“3.3 The Company has no jurisdiction over any person or entity who is not a member and may not, in the absence of a submission to its jurisdiction, require non- members to participate in its processes, issue any instruction, order or ruling against the non-member or sanction it. However, the Company may consider and issue a ruling to its members (which is not binding on non-members) regarding any advertisement regardless of by whom it is published to determine, on behalf of its members, whether its members should accept any advertisement before it is published or should withdraw any advertisement if it has been published”.

In other words, if you are not a member and do not submit to the jurisdiction of the ARB, the ARB will consider and rule on your advertising for the guidance of its members.

The ARB will rule on whatever is before it when making a decision for the guidance of its members. This ruling will be binding only on ARB members and on broadcasters in terms of the Electronic Communications Act.

The ARB will therefore proceed to consider this matter for the guidance of its members.

Merits

Clause 4.1 of Section II (Substantiation) requires advertisers to hold unequivocal verification for all direct or implied claims. This clause also expects such verification to emanate from an independent and credible expert in the field to which the claims relate.

The Advertiser has chosen not to respond to the complaint. The absence of any response from the Advertiser means that the Directorate has no evidence to show that any of  the Advertiser’s direct or implied claims on its website or its commercial are true. In the circumstances, the Directorate has no choice but to find that the claims highlighted by the Complainant are unsubstantiated.

The relevant claims are therefore in contravention of Clause 4.1 of Section II of the Code.

Sanction  

Members of the ARB are advised not to accept the website advertisement and the television commercial in their current formats.

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