Posted 23 September 2013
|We have previously highlighted the scam artists, Chris and Jasmine Grindlay, the owners of Slimbetti, who continue to scam consumers.|
They have also ignored ASA rulings and continue to trade knowing full well that their products have no proof of working, and in fact, in some cases, proof why the products are not likely to work.
A breach complaint was laid with the ASA for their advert placed in Finesse magazine. The ASA wrote to the Grindlay’s asking for a response, and as noted in the ruling: “. . . . the respondent advised that it had received the documentation, but had no desire to respond. It asked the Directorate not to disturb it again.“
[note note_color=”#fbfbb1″]Slimbetti Hoodia Gel / HA Steinman / 18189
Ruling of the : ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
Dr Harris Steinman Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)
Water Berry Trading 46 cc t/a Slimbetti Respondent[/note]
18 Sep 2013
On 24 April 2013, following several adverse rulings and breaches of such rulings, the ASA ruled that the respondent had “… ignored reasonable requests for cooperation, and the Directorate has every reason to believe that the respondent will continue with its pattern of disregard …” In accordance with this ruling, the ASA issued an Ad Alert to its members with the following instruction:
“Members are therefore requested NOT TO ACCEPT ANY SLIMBETTI ADVERTISING AT ALL until advised otherwise by the ASA. Members are also advised that the advertiser has exhibited a pattern of disregard for the ASA Code, and has previously been sanctioned for the same offence when advertising under the name Planet Hoodia. The advertiser is a repeat offender”.
SUBSEQUENT TO THE RULING
On 5 August 2013 the complainant, Dr H A Steinman, lodged a breach complaint against the respondent’s advertising for Slimbetti product that appeared in Glamour magazine. It was submitted that the respondent continued to claim “proven weight-loss results”, “burn unwanted fat and release energy”.
It was further submitted that the claims are also being made on its new website, www.slim24.co.za, which referred to its www.slimbetti.com website.
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.
The respondent was given an opportunity to respond to the breach allegation but failed to do so in writing. Despite being informed about the breach allegation, no response was forthcoming. Subsequent emails were also ignored. Ironically, the respondent contacted the Directorate and asked for the information to be resent, which was duly done. However, when the Directorate phoned the respondent to query why no response had been received, the respondent advised that it had received the documentation, but had no desire to respond. It asked the Directorate not to disturb it again.
ASA DIRECTORATE RULING
The ASA Directorate considered the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.
In the absence of a response from the advertiser, the Directorate had no option but to rule on the matter based on the information at hand.
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”.
There is no doubt that the wording contained in the current Slimbetti advertisement is materially and substantially the same as what was previously ruled against. As before, the respondent’s advertisement makes unsubstantiated promises of exceptional weight loss and features various alleged testimonials of satisfied customers. As before, not a shred of evidence has been presented.
Accordingly, the respondent is in contravention of the Directorate ruling of 17 October 2011 and therefore in breach of Clause 15 of the Procedural Guide.
The breach allegation is upheld.
The Directorate is also mindful of the fact that there is effectively an Ad Alert in force which is supposed to prevent the respondent from placing its advertising with any of the ASA’s members. From discussions with Finesse it would appear that this publication is not a member of Print and Digital Media South Africa, and would presumably not be aware of the previous rulings.
A copy of this ruling, as well as the relevant Ad Alert will therefore also be sent to the Finesse editorial staff.
Here are articles and ASA rulings against the Grindlays.
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