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Homemark Milex Jump Start Juicer - ARB ruling - CAMcheck

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Homemark Milex Jump Start Juicer – ARB ruling

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Posted 10 May 2022

This product claims in a Carte Blanche advert that it would allow users to “Lose the weight you’ve always wanted to lose, in only seven short days, without ever stepping foot in a gym …” It adds that this “… Jump Start seven-day programme is super-fast weight loss to flush out stored toxins, and once you remove these toxins the fat is released from your body in a quick, yet safe manner”. It also features the following “Before” and “After” photos of people purported to have lost weight using this programme.

The Complainant submitted that there is insufficient evidence to support reliance on juice- based diets, that research from trusted sources have linked liquid diets to an increased risk of eating disorders and health complications, and that people should only undertake liquid based diets under close medical supervision.

The Complainant added that there was no evidence to show that any weight loss achieved through this liquid diet could be sustained, because any weight loss experienced through liquid diets (if at all) comes from loss of water and protein as opposed to loss of fat.

The ARB was asked to consider the advert to be misleading.

Decision of the ADVERTISING REGULATORY BOARD

Complainant: Dr Harris Steinman
Advertiser: Homemark (Pty) Ltd
Consumer/Competitor: Consumer
File reference: 1946 – Homemark Milex – Dr Harris Steinman
Outcome: Upheld
Date: 20 April 2022

The Directorate of the Advertising Regulatory Board has been called upon to consider claims made by the Advertiser for its “Milex Jump Start Juicer”. The Complainant submitted that a commercial promoting this product was broadcast repeatedly during March 2022 on MNET. A shortened version of the commercial was uploaded by the Advertiser on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYabamrLoXQ.

Description of the Advertising

The YouTube commercial claims that this product would allow users to “Lose the weight you’ve always wanted to lose, in only seven short days, without ever stepping foot in a gym …” It adds that this “… Jump Start seven-day programme is super-fast weight loss to flush out stored toxins, and once you remove these toxins the fat is released from your body in a quick, yet safe manner”. It also features the following “Before” and “After” photos of people purported to have lost weight using this programme:

 

In addition, the Advertiser’s website (https://homemark.co.za/products/milex-jump- start-juicer?_pos=59&_sid=68d0396a4&_ss=r) contains a longer (3,5 minute) commercial which makes, inter alia, the following claims:

  • “… designed to help you lose weight where you need it most, cleanse your body …”
  • “… Today’s juices focus on the second stage of bloating; water They rectify the water balance in my body while flushing out stored toxins …”
  • “Day six, and today’s special diuretic juice formulas help flush away unwanted fat, cholesterol, and those last hard to shed pounds from my waistline …”

Complaint

The Complainant submitted that there is insufficient evidence to support reliance on juice- based diets, that research from trusted sources have linked liquid diets to an increased risk of eating disorders and health complications, and that people should only undertake liquid based diets under close medical supervision.

The Complainant added that there was no evidence to show that any weight loss achieved through this liquid diet could be sustained, because any weight loss experienced through liquid diets (if at all) comes from loss of water and protein as opposed to loss of fat.

The Complainant further referenced an earlier ARB decision under the reference 1048 – Homemark Detox Tea – Dr Harris Steinman (24 November 2020), in which the ARB ruled that there was no evidence to show that one could physiologically “detox” the human body. He noted that claims to this effect are effectively a scam, rendering such claims, as well as the claim that fat is released from the body once these “toxins” have been removed, complete nonsense.

Finally, the Complainant argued that the images used to demonstrate weight loss are either false or have been manipulated to exaggerate any potential weight loss that may have occurred.

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 Directorate considered the following provisions of the ARB Code to be relevant:

  • Section II, Clause 2 (Honesty)
  • Section II, Clause 4.1 (Substantiation)
  • Section II, Clause 4.2.1 (Misleading claims)

Decision

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

Jurisdiction

The Directorate notes that the Advertiser previously submitted that it was not a member of the ARB, and that it would not engage in correspondence with 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

The Complainant effectively raises the following concerns:

  • That there is no evidence to show that this programme produces weight loss (with the added concern that it is potentially an unhealthy means of attempting to lose weight).
  • That there is no evidence to show that this programme can “detox” human bodies or rid the body of cholesterol and fat.
  • That the images used are not

These concerns primarily relate to the question of substantiation. The essential question therefore is whether the Advertiser holds appropriate evidence to support its direct and implied claims.

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 not disputed the Complainant’s allegations, and has submitted no evidence to support its claims that this product is able to produce weight loss or fat loss, lower cholesterol and detoxify the body. The Directorate was also unable to find any supporting evidence on the Advertiser’s website.

In addition, the Advertiser has not refuted the allegation that the images used have been altered or manipulated to imply significant weight loss.

While not necessarily indicative of absolute fabrication, the Directorate notes that a reverse-image search through https://tineye.com/ appears to suggest that at least two of the “Before” and “After” images shown in the Advertiser’s commercials (see below) emanate from stock photo banks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purported to be “Lucy Lost 4kg”Purported to be “Mary Lost 5.5kg”

This arguably contradicts the implied message that these ladies lost weight using this “Milex Jump Start Juicer” weight loss and detoxification programme, and casts doubt over whether the images were simply manipulated to make these ladies look more or less overweight than they may be. It also calls into question the integrity of the other images used, as disputed by the Complainant.

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 commercials are true.

As such, the notion that this weight loss and detox system is able to cause weight loss and / or fat loss, lower cholesterol, detox the body and deliver the dramatic improvement shown in only seven days is, at present, unsubstantiated and in breach of Clause 4.1 of Section II.

By implication, the direct and implied claims are, at present, likely to deceive people in a manner that contravenes Clause 2 of Section II (Honesty) as well as Clause 4.2.1 of Section II (Misleading claims).

Sanction

Members of the ARB are instructed not to accept advertising for the Advertiser’s “Milex Jump Start Juicer with 7-day Detox & Weight Loss Program” claiming to deliver weight loss, detoxification or lowered cholesterol.

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