UK ASA ruling: Nivea DNAge Cell Renewal Day Cream

A magazine ad, for Nivea DNAge Cell Renewal Day Cream, claimed, among other, that the product will result in "firmer skin" and "DNAGE CELL RENEWAL", a product "which boosts surface skin cell renewal leaving you with noticeably firmer looking skin." 

 A consumer laid a complaint with the UK ASA arguing that the claims were misleading, "because it failed to make clear that the cream may only have a temporary, visible effect on the skin", and the product name "DNAGE CELL RENEWAL" misleadingly implied that the product could in some way regenerate cells".

The UK ASA agreed, ruling in favour of the complainant (but not completely).

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ALCAT – Complaint to Competition Commission

Dr Pridgeon laid a complaint with the Competition Commission of South Africa against Dr Harris Steinman arguing that the latter was trying to prevent the ALCAT from getting market share of allergy testing in the South African market.

Dr Steinman argued that the test is not scientically validated for all the claims being made for the tests, and that in fact there is no evidence that the ALCAT can predict what foods are involved in the range of symptoms and diseases it claims to be.

Following an investigation by the Competition Commission, the following report, with devasting results for Dr Pridgeon and the ALCAT, was released.

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Hoodia Slender Gel

Posted 29 June 2009

A complaint of breach against the previous ASA ruling was laid with the ASA against this product.  To reiterate, there is simply no evidence that any of the ingredients in this product, when taken orally, can fulfil any of the claims being made for the product, and the chance that it therefore works via skin absorbption is simply ridiculous.

The ASA ruled against the product as there is no evidence that the product works, yet the ASA somehow has allowed this company to claim: “all claims for efficacy of Hoodia Slender Gel are based on consumer survey data. This product is not intended to treat, diagonose or cure any disease.” This is simply bizarre!

The ASA code states  very clearly in Clause 4.1 of Section II of the ASA’s Code states “Before advertising is published, advertisers shall hold in their possession documentary evidence as set out Read the rest

UK ASA ruling: Bi-Aura Therapy

A regional press ad, for a therapy, stated "BI-AURA THERAPY Practitioner … This non-invasive therapy works on the body's energy field by correcting imbalances. With the energy flow restored, the body can start healing itself.

Some of the conditions that have responded favourably: allergies, arthritis, asthma, back problems, depression, fatigue, insomnia, ME and stress-related conditions".


1. The complainant challenged whether the Mirjam Wigman could substantiate the efficacy claims for the treatment.

2. The ASA challenged whether the ad was likely to discourage readers from seeking suitably qualified medical treatment for serious medical conditions such as depression and ME.

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ASA Ruling: Insupro Forte

The complainant submitted that the advertisement offers oral insulin, which does not exist as all insulin on the market has to be given by injections.

The advertisement also claims that the product is effective on sugar control, reductions of complications, restoration of pancreatic function. No references of these claims are given.

The complainant further submitted that the advertisement is misleading and irresponsible as it may lead to death of Type 1 diabetes patients if they stop their present insulin treatment.

The ASA considered the complaint and the response from the respondent, and ruled . . . 

UPDATE Insupro Forte was declared an undesirable medicine by the Medicines Control Council on 4 August 2009. This in effect "bans" the product in South Africa.

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UK ASA ruling: Zara’s Herbal Tea

The United Kingdom's Advertising Standards Authority offers a useful assessment of many complaints about products that make medicinal claims. The UK ASA operates slightly differently from the ASA of SA. 

Some of the differences between these bodies and the different systems of medicines regulation in each country are highlighted in the rulings. In this ruling, it is clear that the UK ASA did not accept that claims could be made for this tea because a clinical trial was being planned.

Nor did they accept the reasoning that the marketers "ethos was to promote natural healthcare".

Nor did they accept as evidence that the product had helped cure a dog of cancer.

Here is the story:

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UK ASA ruling: Herbal remedies, Uri Aid, etc.

A direct mailing, for Living & Loving, included a leaflet which made a number of claims for the herbal remedies Uri Aid, ProstAid, ProstBoost and Up Mood.

The Health Food Manufacturers' Association (HFMA) challenged whether the  efficacy claims for the products were misleading and could be substantiated.

The ASA upheld all complaints.

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Detox potion

'Make-believe and outright quackery' – expert's verdict on prince's detox potion Sarah Boseley, health editor of The Guardian, wrote on Wednesday 11 March 2009:

"Britain's leading academic expert on complementary medicine (Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University) has warned that the Duchy Herbals Detox Tincture – a food supplement, which combines artichoke and dandelion and promises to rid the body of toxins while aiding digestion – is based on notions which are 'implausible, unproven and dangerous'."

Prof. Ernst also stated: ""Nothing would be easier than to demonstrate that detox products work," Ernst said. "All one needed to do is to take a few blood samples from volunteers and test whether this or that toxin is eliminated from the body faster than normal. But where are the studies that demonstrate efficacy? They do not exist, and the reason is simple: these products have no real detoxification effects." Read … Read the rest

ASA Ruling: Arthro Joint Forte

The radio commercial states, inter alia, “Bioter Health’s Arthro Joint Forté is a clinically proven, natural solution for the treatment of Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and lower back pain. Its triple-action effect assists with bone and cartilage regeneration, provides pain and inflammation relief and increased flexibility.”

The ASA ruled: "In light of the above, the respondent’s claims are currently unsubstantiated and in breach of Clause 4.1 of Section II."

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UK ASA ruling: Olay Regenerist skin care cream

"We considered we had not seen evidence to show that the product could result in dramatically younger looking skin, similar or equivalent to the effects of cosmetic injections."

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