Ozone Health Spa – Ozmed

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Posted 01 February 2012

A consumer lodged a consumer complaint against an Ozmed print advertisement promoting its “Ozone Health Spa”. The advertisement was published in the 10 December 2011 edition of the Cape Argus. The advert posed the question “Do You Suffer From?” and lists “Stress”; “Hypertension”; “Diabetes”; “Asthma”; “Arthritis”; “HIV/Aids”; “Low Sex Drive”; “Psoriasis”; Cancer” and “Erectile Dysfunction”. It stated: “Ozone improves blood circulation and kills harmful organisms in the body thus combating the above illnesses”. The complainant submitted, in essence, that the advertisement is in contravention of ASA  clauses, and because the advertiser has no proof of its efficacy claims and because the product makes claims which are only permitted for products registered and approved by the Medicines Control Council (the MCC).

Ozmed / K Charleston / 19317
Ruling of the : ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
Kevin Charleston Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)
Kevin Charles t/a Ozmed Respondent

01 Feb 2012
http://www.asasa.org.za/ResultDetail.aspx?Ruling=5934


Mr Charleston lodged a consumer complaint against an Ozmed print advertisement promoting its “Ozone Health Spa”. The advertisement was published in the 10 December 2011 edition of the Cape Argus.

It poses the question “Do You Suffer From?” and lists “Stress”; “Hypertension”; “Diabetes”; “Asthma”; “Arthritis”; “HIV/Aids”; “Low Sex Drive”; “Psoriasis”; Cancer” and “Erectile Dysfunction”.

Below this, the product is shown at a cost of R6500,00 and the advertisement states:

“Ozone improves blood circulation and kills harmful organisms in the body thus combating the above illnesses”.

COMPLAINT
The complainant submitted, in essence, that the advertisement is in contravention of the clauses as cited below, because the advertiser has no proof of its efficacy claims and because the product makes claims which are only permitted for products registered and approved by the Medicines Control Council (the MCC).

RELEVANT CLAUSES OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
The complainant submitted that the following clauses of the Code are relevant:

• Clause 4.1 of Section I – Substantiation

• Appendix F – References to disease in advertising

RESPONSE
The respondent addressed the merits of the matter but also submitted that it would “… refrain from advertising until [it has] investigated all the rules of advertising and [is able] to produce information that is not perceived as offensive”.

ASA DIRECTORATE RULING
The ASA Directorate considered all the relevant documentation submitted by both parties.

The ASA has a long standing principle which holds that where an advertiser provides an unequivocal undertaking to withdraw or amend its advertising in a manner that addresses the concerns raised, that undertaking is accepted without considering the merits of the matter.

The respondent’s undertaking appears to address the complainant’s concerns and there is therefore no need for the Directorate to consider the merits of the matter at this time.

The undertaking is accepted on condition that the claims in question are not used again in future unless they are compliant with the requirements of the Code.

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