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Homemark Remedy Health Detox Foot Pads – ARB Ruling

Posted 04 April 2023

The Directorate of the Advertising Regulatory Board has been called upon to consider a consumer complaint against a Homemark television commercial promoting the Remedy Health Detox Foot Pads.

In fact, Homemark has been marketing this scam product for years, and keep on re-advertising the same product using the same TV advert. Shame on Homemark, shame on DSTV Multichoice for accepting the advert in spite of previous ASA and ARB rulings.

Decision of the ADVERTISING REGULATORY BOARD

Complainant: Bernhardt Meyer
Advertiser: Homemark (Pty) Ltd
Consumer/Competitor: Consumer
File reference: 2513 – Homemark Remedy Health Detox Pads –Meyer
Outcome: Upheld

Date: 24 March 2023

The Directorate of the Advertising Regulatory Board has been called upon to consider a consumer complaint against a Homemark television commercial promoting the Remedy Health Detox Foot Pads. The commercial was flighted on the Kynet Channel 144 on Dstv on the 2nd of February 2023.

Description of the advertising

The commercial shows three characters looking tired and the wording “FEELING TIRED ALL THE TIME” flashes across the screen. The packaging of the Remedy Health Detox Pads is shown on the screen with trees and then the sea in the background and then a person is seen applying the pads to the sole of his/her feet, in bed, while a male voice states: “Feeling tired all the time? You need to get rid of toxins now. Introducing from Remedy Health, the fantastic Detox Foot Pads. An amazingly simple system that helps you detox your body while you sleep…” and the following wording also appears on the screen:

  • “remedy health” “DETOX PADS”
  • “Simple to use”
  • “While you sleep”

A female presenter appears on the screen stating “Detox Foot Pads are all natural. There are no side effects, no risks…” while the following words also appears besides her on the screen:

  • “All natural”
  • “No side effects”

 The female presenter is followed by a male voice stating: “Call four three oh six thousand now and order the incredible Detox Foot Pads. Also available at Homemark stores and these fine stores nationwide…” while the packaging of Remedy Health Detox Pads and the following wording, including store logos, appears on the screen:

  • “DETOX PADS”
  • “CARING FOR YOUR WELL-BEING” “R179.95”
  • “remedy health”
  • “Homemark DIRECT STORES”
  • “Game” “Makro”
  • “Pick n Pay”   “Checkers Hyper”
  • “DisChem PHARMACIES” “SPRINGBOK PHARMACY”
  • “Alpha Pharm”  “takealot.com”
  • “011 430 6000”
  • homemark.co.za

Complaint

The Complainant is of the opinion that the claim that the foot pads will, when used as directed before going to bed at night, detoxify a person’s body in the course of the night, is false and have also been repeatedly proven to be false in the United States of America.

Response

The Advertiser did not respond to the ARB’s request for comment. It should be noted,

however, that in prior disputes before the ARB, the advertiser confirmed that it was not a member of the ARB and that it had no intention to engage in any correspondence with the ARB.

Application of the Code of Advertising Practice

The following clauses were considered in this matter:

  • Substantiation – Clause 4.1 of Section II
  • Misleading claims – Clause 4.2.1 of Section II

Decision 

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

Jurisdiction

The Advertiser submitted no response in this matter. However, the Directorate notes that the Advertiser had previously indicated that it was not a member of the ARB and that it would not engage in correspondence with the ARB. Given that no response was received after the deadline stipulated in the ARB’s correspondence with the Advertiser, it is assumed that the Advertiser opted not to respond to this dispute.

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 essentially submitted that the claim that the foot pads will, when applied on the feet before going to bed at night, as directed in the commercial, detoxify a person’s body during the course of the night, is false.

Substantiation

Clause 4.1 of Section II expects advertisers to hold independent substantiation for any, and all claims which are capable of objective verification.

The Directorate is satisfied that the claim that the Remedy Health Detox Pads are able to detoxify a person’s body when worn on the soles of the feet, as illustrated in the commercial, is capable of substantiation in accordance with Clause 4.1 of Section II.

The Advertiser, however, submitted no evidence, has not disputed the Complainant’s

allegation, and has put nothing before the Directorate to validate or support the claim.

In the absence of any evidence to support the claim, the Directorate has no alternative but to find that the claim that the Remedy Health Detox Foot Pads, if worn on the soles of the feet overnight, will detoxify a person’s body, is in breach of the provisions of Clause 4.1 of Section II of the Code. Given this, the claim is also misleading and in breach of Clause 4.2.1 of Section II.

Sanction

Members of the ARB are advised not to accept the television commercial in its current format.

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