Posted 20 October 2016
This ruling points out that the advertiser has yet again made unsubstantiated health claims about its Revivo product.
Well, thats [sic] not what we wanted, we persevered and persisted and today Revivo is still available, and its [sic] still the worlds [sic] number 1 immune supplement.
Revivo Capsules / H Steinman / 2016-4530F
Ruling of the: ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
DR HARRIS A STEINMAN Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)
ACONITE MEDICAL SUPPLIERS CC Respondent
17 October 2016
Dr Steinman lodged a consumer complaint against the email advertisement promoting Revivo Capsules. The subject of the email reads “They don’t want you to live, but we do”. The body copy reads:
“They know Revivo works, that’s why they tried to stop us…
A few years ago, just after we discovered the herbal cures that were already provided by nature for immune weakness, and after we developed the number one Immune, anti-aging and life lengthening supplement Revivo, “they” tried to shut us down.
It seems that they dont [sic] really want people to be cured from immune weakness, from HIV, from rapid aging, from chronic fatigue. Maybe they prefer that people remain sick for life.
Well, thats [sic] not what we wanted, we persevered and persisted and today Revivo is still available, and its [sic] still the worlds [sic] number 1 immune supplement. It is still working wonders for hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world. It’s helping people achieve their dreams, live a happy and long life and removing the stress and worry that comes with being sick.
Today Revivo is even better than before and nobody is going to stop us or you from using it, its [sic] your choice, you have the power to decide about your own health, your own life. You have the power to choose to live longer, to live happier and to go in the world and be the success that you are meant to be.
We know that often the biggest barrier to doing this is to be able to overcome the negativity of sickness. When you’re sick you don’t feel like giving it your best, sometimes you don’t even feel like getting out of bed. Some people don’t even want to continue with life. But thats [sic] where Revivo changes everything.
Once you start using Revivo, the rare and expensive ingredients in Revivo begin strengthening every part of your body, your immune system, your heart, your brain, your kidneys, your digestive organs, even your complexion improves. Then you begin to find that you wake up with more energy, more motivation, more strength and stamina. So then you WANT to do more, you want to achieve, you’re no longer negative, your attitude becomes positive, you want to engage with the world again, and Revivo enables YOU to do this, its [sic] all YOU, just waiting to come out from inside.
So I sincerely recommend that if you have not tried it yet, go ahead and give yourself permission to be YOU, and be the best YOU that you can be by getting a bottle of Revivo today, And if you have used it already then you know what I am talking about, and you should know that we will always be there, even when “they” want to shut us out.
Revivo will be there for you, for life…”
In essence, the complainant argued that claims of improving one’s medical condition and allowing one to live longer, as well as claims that this product and/or its ingredients have any effect on, inter alia, HIV, the user’s immune system, heart functioning, brain activity and kidneys or digestive organs are patently untrue, not backed by any scientific literature, and aimed purely at luring consumers into buying the product.
RELEVANT CLAUSE OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
The complainant identified Clause 4.1 of Section II (Substantiation) as relevant to this dispute.
Despite all reasonable efforts to elicit a response from the advertiser, no response was received. The respondent’s representatives confirmed receipt of ASA correspondence, but did not submit any response. The Directorate therefore had no alternative but to rule despite the absence of a formal response.
ASA DIRECTORATE RULING
The ASA Directorate considered all the relevant documentation submitted by the complainant.
In terms of Clause 4.1 of Section II, before advertising is published, advertisers must hold in their possession documentary evidence of all claims that are capable of objective substantiation.
It appears from the history with the ASA that the respondent has a pattern of making unsubstantiated claims and failing to comply with adverse rulings. These include:
- Revivo Tea / P Linzer / 13898 (20 August 2009),
- Revivo Tea / P Linzer / 13898 (29 June 2011),
- Revivo Tea / M Low / 18020 (7 September 2011),
- Revivo Tea / M Low / 18020 (21 October 2011) and
- Revivo Tea / M Low / 18020 (5 January 2012).
Once again the respondent appears to defiantly claim that its product, inter alia, allows people to be “cured from immune weakness, from HIV, from rapid aging, from chronic fatigue …”, that it is “… still the worlds [sic] number 1 immune supplement …” and that it “strengthen[s] every part of your body, your immune system, your heart, your brain, your kidneys, your digestive organs, even your complexion …”
Despite the complainant’s submission that he could find no credible evidence of such claims, and despite being afforded the opportunity to present any evidence it has to substantiate such claims, the respondent submitted nothing.
In light of the above, the advertisement is in breach of Clause 4.1 of Section II of the Code.
Given the above finding:
- The advertisement and the claims must be withdrawn;
- The process to withdraw the advertising material and claims must be actioned with immediate effect on receipt of the ruling;
- The withdrawal must be completed within the deadlines stipulated by Clause 15.3 of the Procedural Guide; and
- The advertisement and disputed claims may not be used again.
The complaint is upheld.
In light of the fact that an adverse ruling was made, and given that the respondent refused to submit any evidence or a reply to the complaint, the ASA Directorate will issue an Ad Alert to its members, informing them of this ruling and the consequences thereof.