Posted 11 April 2014
According to the company, the Rayma Balance Bracelet will not longer be sold in South Africa! However, can we believe Mr Mervyn Daitz of Topline Innovations? This is not the only scam he has been responsible for.
28 Mar 2014
In a ruling dated 8 June 2007, the Directorate ruled that the respondent’s advertising for Rayma Balance Bracelet created a misleading impression that the bracelet would relieve pain, which was not proven and therefore unsubstantiated.
The advertisement made the following claims:
“PAIN? Guaranteed relief or your money back!”
“Do you suffer from arthritis, trigeminal neuralgia, high blood pressure, poor circulation, rheumatism, headaches, migraine, gout, fibrositis, shoulder stiffness or backache?”
“Rayma Balance Bracelet Natural Pain relief: It’s not Copper; nor is it magnetised”
The respondent was instructed to remove the offending claims within the deadlines stipulated in Clause 15.3 of the Procedural Guide.
On 10 September 2007, the respondent was found in breach of the above ruling, but no sanctions were imposed at that time.
On 14 August 2009 the respondent was again found to be in breach of 8 June 2007 Directorate ruling. Both parties were given an opportunity to comment on whether or not sanctions were appropriate. On 15 September 2009 the Directorate imposed a sanction in terms of Clause 14.2 of the Procedural Guide. In terms of this sanction, the respondent was expected to submit the proposed amendment, original advertisement and all previous ASA rulings to the ACA Advisory Service for pre-publication advice. It was a once-off pre-clearance.
An Ad Alert was issued to the ASA members not to accept any Rayma Balance Bracelet advertising unless it is accompanied by confirmation from the ACA Advisory Services that it may be placed.
On 8 December 2009 the Directorate rejected the respondent’s new substantiation on the basis that the documentary submissions were not relevant to the claims and therefore not an unequivocal verification of the claims in question. The Directorate pointed out that the ruling of 8 June 2007 remained binding and the respondent may not use the claims in question.
On 10 May 2012 the respondent was again found in breach of the original ruling. Both parties were given an opportunity to comment on whether or not sanctions were appropriate, and if so, which sanction.
On 13 July 2012 sanction in terms of Clause 14.5 of the Procedural Guide was imposed upon the respondent. In terms of this sanction, the respondent was ordered to “… publish a summarised version of the ruling as proposed by the ASA, in all or some of the media in which the advertising complained of appeared or media considered appropriate by the ASA, and the cost of such publication will be for the respondent. Where the respondent refuses to pay for the costs of the publication of the summarised version of the ASA’s ruling, the ASA may order the withdrawal of all advertising space in respect of the respondent, until such time as these costs have been paid”.
At the discretion of the ASA, this sanction was suspended for a period of 12 months from the date of the ruling. The respondent was cautioned that any further breaches during this suspension period would automatically evoke the above sanction, along with any additional sanctions the Directorate deemed appropriate.
SUBSEQUENT TO THE RULING
On 25 February 2013 Dr Steinman lodged a breach complaint regarding the website advertisement for Rayma Balance Bracelet that appeared on the respondent’s website www.painstop.co.za.
In essence, the complainant submitted that the same or similar claims are still being made on the respondent’s website and the website looks completely unchanged since the previous ruling. Clearly the respondent is ignoring the ASA rulings.
RELEVANT CLAUSE OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
In light of the breach allegation the Directorate considered Clause 15 of the Procedural Guide (Enforcement of rulings) as relevant.
Mr Mervyn Daitz of Topline Innovations submitted that it has stopped importing the bracelet and no longer marketed it. It added that the website has been disabled and invited the Directorate to check.
ASA DIRECTORATE RULING
The ASA Directorate considered all the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.
Clause 15.1 of the Procedural Guide states that “The responsibility for adherence to a ruling made by the Directorate or the ASA Committees lies with the person against whom such ruling has been made”.
The advertisement originally ruled against, and the one currently complained of are virtually identical. The respondent has not denied that the website was still actively marketing the product in apparent disregard for the previous rulings. It merely submitted that it has since stopped importing the bracelet and that it was no longer marketing it. When ruling on the matter, the Directorate was unable to access the relevant website.
While the respondent has now taken steps to remove the offending advertisement in question, this action is belated, and neither refutes nor mitigates the fact that a breach has ex facie occurred.
Given the above, the Directorate is satisfied that the respondent’s current advertisement that gave rise to this particular dispute was in breach of the original ruling and therefore in breach of Clause 15 of the Procedural Guide.
Ordinarily, the Directorate would be entitled to consider whether or not the parties should comment on sanctions, and whether or not the ASA should impose additional sanctions on the respondent. However, assuming that the product has indeed been discontinued, a sanction would not serve any purpose, as there would presumably be no future advertising for the product.
The Directorate will therefore distribute a copy of this ruling to all its members (which includes print and broadcast media), in order to inform them of the respondent’s repeated disregard for ASA rules and rulings.
The breach complaint is upheld, but no consideration of sanctions will take place.