Posted 07 May 2012
What is the responsibility of editors, production managers and owners of magazines with regard to accepting advertising for unsubstantiated or scam products? The majority of magazines are members of representative groups that are co-signatories to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) code and are expected to comply with the ASA code.
Slimbetti has managed to re-advertise in Caxton magazines after asserting that the ASA had accepted their claims (a blatant lie) after Caxton had initially refused further advertising following an earlier ASA ruling. Caxton publishers include magazines such as People, Vrouekeur, Rooi Rose, Essentials, Your family, etc. A letter (similar to the one at the end of this post) had them accept that they had erred and would discontinue further advertisements (except for those too late to stop).
A similar letter to the Christian magazine, JOY! (NOT a Caxton magazine), has resulted in a similar response from Jackie Georgiou, the Production Manager ([email protected]), who wrote: “I have made the necessary enquires and investigation and can confirm that there will be no further ads from Slimbetti in our magazines from our July issues. (The rest are at the printers)“.
Of course, the question that comes to mind is what mechanisms will these magazines implement to prevent a similar situation from arising, not only for products of the Grindlays, but also other products with claims ruled against by the ASA.
The publishers of Joy! have an identical Afrikaans version called “Juig”, which also contains SlimBetti adverts. Both English and Afrikaans versions contain other ads for, amongst others: detox products (bodydetox.co.za), etc.
|I became aware today that Rooi Rose is also a member of the Caxton stable of magazines. In the May 2012 issue of this magazine, are adverts previously ruled against by the ASA.|
Sent: 01 May 2012 07:19 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Slimbetti advertisement
I have been informed by a reader that the recent Joy magazine carries an advert for Slimbetti.
I am requesting that you halt the advertising of Jasmine and/or Chris Grindlay. The products in question are Slimbetti (and previously sold as Slender Max, Hoodia Slender Gel). These adverts are selling unsubstantiated weight-loss products making claims which have repeatedly been ruled against by the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA). There is no proof that these products can have any effect on weight-loss. Indeed, I have measured the level of hoodia in one of the products and found it almost absent. Even if present, there is no proof at all that rubbing hoodia on one’s skin can result in weight-loss.
Although a raft of rulings have been issued against this company, these individuals continue to peddle their products and thereby defraud the public.
A recent ASA ruling illustrates the attitude of this company:
Other rulings include:
I request that you protect your readers from this scam by not accepting any advertising for this product.
Dr Harris Steinman
Note: Slimbetti used to be known as Hoodia Slender Gel, Slender Max Slender Gel, etc.