Posted 07 April 2013
Miracle Magnesium / Platinum Lifestyle Products / Bodydetox continues to scam consumers, in spite of ASA rulings. Here the ASA rules again against this major scam.
See also this posting regarding the owner of the company, Marcelle du Plessis, and how some of the products are made in unsterile and unacceptable conditions [opens in new window]
|Miracle Magnesium / R Jobson / 21307|
Ruling of the : ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
Professor Roy Jobson Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)
Platinum Lifestyle Products cc Respondent
19 Mar 2013
Professor Jobson lodged a consumer complaint against the respondent’s print advertisement appearing in the Vrouekeur Magazine during November 2012.
The advertisement is headed “Miracle Magnesium Magnesium van die DOOIE SEE” (Miracle Magnesium Magnesium from the DEAD SEE). It proposes that people with diabetes may have lower magnesium levels, and that Magnesium is vital for regulating blood sugar and the prevention of calcification of blood vessels. The claims is also made that this product is the best type of Magnesium for internal absorption because it provides more Magnesium per millilitre than the tablet form.
It further contains some photographs of people suffering from Diabetes, Psoriasis, Swollen feet as well as an image of a slender lady with the words “Gewigsverlies” (Weight loss).
It then lists several medical conditions with a tick next to each as well as two testimonials, one (from an “A Strauss”) claiming that the product resulted in lowered blood pressure, and another (from an “W Pretorius”) claiming that the product resulted in her tumour shrinking.
In essence, the complainant submitted that the advertisementoversimplifies and confuses the role that Magnesium plays when ingested by humans. He explained that Magnesium is not very well absorbed from the intestinal tract, it usually only acts as a mild laxative. However, the complainant has not seen any evidence that taking Magnesium orally has efficacy for all the conditions listed in the advertisement. He also argued why several of the other claims made in the advertisement require substantiation.
In addition, he explained that “According to the provisions of Clause 10 of Section II of the Code of Advertising Practice of the ASA, signed, dated copies of these testimonials should be made available to the ASA for inspection as well as all the other applicable aspects of Clause 10”.
He concludes that for all the reasons articulated in his complaint, the product should be regarded as anything but miraculous, and the very name could be considered misleading.
RELEVANT CLAUSE OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
The complainant identified Clause 10 of Section II in his complaint.
All reasonable attempts were made by the ASA Directorate to elicit a response from the advertiser, but the advertiser failed to respond.
ASA DIRECTORATE RULING
The ASA Directorate considered all the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.
At the outset it is noted that the Directorate can only investigate a complaint within the parameters and grounds set out by a complainant. In addition, when a complainant specifically identifies a particular provision of the Code to which the complaint relates, the Directorate is compelled to limit its investigations in terms of those provisions only.
In its correspondence to the respondent, the Directorate explained that it would “… consider the complaint in terms of the clauses identified by the complainant”. The only clause identified by the complainant, was Clause 10 of Section II (Testimonials). While the complainant alluded to the fact that the advertisement was misleading and unsubstantiated, he did not identify clauses that relates to these concerns. The Directorate will therefore only consider the provisions of the Code specifically identified by the complainant.
Clause 10 of Section II states, inter alia, that “Advertisers and their agencies should hold ready for inspection by the ASA, copies of any testimonials used in advertising. Such copies should be signed and dated by the persons providing the testimonials and should confirm what is said in any advertisement”.
The advertisement contains two testimonials, one from “A Strauss” and one from “W Pretorius”. The testimonials allege that this product has resulted in a significant reduction in blood pressure (for A Strauss) and tumour shrinkage (for W Pretorius). Despite the complainant’s specific reference to the requirement for signed and dated copies, however, the respondent did not provide any.
As a result, the testimonials used in this advertisement are in breach of Clause 10 of Section II of the Code, as the Directorate has not been provided with any evidence of their authenticity.
The respondent is therefore instructed to:
Withdraw these testimonials from its advertising,
Ensure that it takes action to withdraw these testimonials with immediate effect from the date of this ruling,
Ensure that the testimonials are withdrawn within the deadlines stipulated in Clause 15.3 of the Procedural Guide, and
Not use these testimonials again in future.
The complaint is upheld.
Given that an adverse ruling has been made in the absence of a response, the Directorate will issue an Ad Alert to its members asking them not to accept the advertisement in question again in future.