Posted 15 September 2011
This company continues to deceive consumers. This is not the first ASA ruling to go against them. Makes one wonder who the owner of this product is!
This is the distributors website, www.aconitemedical.com, which sells “5 Port Electroacupuncture Machine”, other acupuncture materials, and “Magnets and Press seeds”.
Revivo Tea / M Low / 18020
Ruling of the : ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
Marcus Low Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)
Aconite Medical Suppliers cc Respondent
07 Sep 2011
Mr Low lodged a consumer complaint against Acconite Medical Suppliers’ internet advertisiement promoting Revivo Herbal Tea. The advertisement was published at www.revivotea.com.
The advertisement contains, inter alia, testimonials from people who submit that they are HIV positive and the product in question has help to decrease their viral load and increase their CD4 count.
The complainant specifically identified the following examples:
“I started using Revivo capsules after I found out I was HIV positive in October last year. In November I bought a bottle. After 3 bottles of one month supply I did a second test for cd4s and viral loads. In October my cd4 was 185 and viral loads was 68000 but after the second test my cd4 count was 324 and viral loads undetectable. Revivo is a really booster. I would recommend those who are positive to go for it. With this booster I don’t think people should be afraid to die of Aids anymore. It is expensive but it’s worth it… Try it and see …”
“I am over the moon to inform you how REVIVO has changed my life. I was diagnosed HIV positive June 2008 with CD4 count of 386 & I started using Revivo 2009. November 2010 I went for the PCR and bDNA viral load test and the results were undetectable. That did not mean that there are not viruses in my blood, it meant that there are not enough for the test to detect. I am overwhelmed with REVIVO”.
The complainant submitted, in essence, that the advertisement is misleading as it promotes Revivo tea as a treatment for HIV, when there is no evidence of efficacy for this product. The complainant pointed out that this contravenes the ASA rules on using testimonials and also falls foul of the provisions of Appendix F, which prohibit any type of claim for the disease Aids and/or HIV unless the product or treatment or advise advertised is registered and approved by the Medicines Control Council (MCC).
RELEVANT CLAUSES OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
The complainant identified the following clauses as relevant:
• Clause 10.3 of Section II – Testimonials
• Clause 2 of Appendix F – References to diseases in advertising.
The respondent submitted, inter alia, that the testimonials complained of were removed even before the complaint was received from the ASA.
ASA DIRECTORATE RULING
The ASA Directorate considered all the relevant documentation submitted by the complainant.
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 complainants’ concerns and there is therefore no need for the Directorate to consider the merits of the matter.
The undertaking is accepted on condition that claims referring to Revivo Herbal Tea’s ability to increase HIV positive people’s CD4 count and to decrease their viral load in the form of testimonials are not used again in future in future.
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