Tag Archives | ASA

Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa placed into Business Rescue.

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Posted 15 November 2016

It is sad to read that thanks to, among other, legal action by Herbex, Antagolin, USN, Homemark and others, challenging the ASA’s jurisdiction, has had a major impact on the operating funds of the ASA. Even the Health Products Association of South Africa (HPA) has not renewed its membership. This has resulted in the ASA having to be placed into Business Rescue. As documented on CamCheck, these companies are responsible for selling products with little or no evidence of efficacy to consumers. The ASA’s role has been to prevent South African consumers from being duped by companies making false claims, and therefore defrauding consumers.  All of the companies are represented by the lawyer, Saul Shoot of Fluxmans.

It must be noted that the court cases have not challenged the ASA’s rulings on the merits of the advertising. It’s been more of an issue … Read the rest

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Advertising Standards Authority – proposal to become Advertising Ombudsman

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Posted 06 September 2016

Mr. Ebrahim Mohamed, the Commissioner of the National Consumer Commission (NCC), has published a proposed industry code and ombudsman scheme for the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) for  public comment in terms of section 82(3)(a) of the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008(Act No. 68 of 2008).

The Code specifically deals with the resolution of complaints of prohibited conduct and the failure to comply with required conduct in respect of advertising and marketing of goods and services to consumers as provided for and envisaged by and within the scope of the Act.

The code incorporate the recognition of an ombudsman scheme for alternative dispute resolution of complaints. In accordance with section 82(3)(a) and (b) of the Act No. 68 of 2008, the National Consumer Commission is required to publish the proposed industry code for  public comment and consider any submissions made during the public  … Read the rest

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Stronger oversight may protect South Africans from misleading advertising

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Posted 23 August 2016

An article by Dr Rudi de Lange, Associate Professor in Visual Communication, Tshwane University of Technology, published on August 16, 2016 to The Conversation.

Stronger oversight may protect South Africans from misleading advertising

South Africa has an effective and functioning advertising self-regulator. But it doesn’t always work as it should. The self-regulatory regime in place cannot do enough to protect consumers because it is based on the willing cooperation of advertisers.

The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa’s (ASASA) Advertising Code of Practice requires advertisements to be legal, decent, honest and truthful. It is based on an international code and is similar to advertising codes in most developed and developing countries, such as the UK, Australia and Malaysia. But ASASA is not a statutory body and it does not have the teeth to enforce its rulings on non-members. It cannot impose penalties on advertisers and … Read the rest

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ASA launches appeal against Herbex High Court ruling

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Posted 03 June 2016

As previously posted here, Herbex took the ASA to the High Court arguing that the ASA has no jurisdiction over the claims Herbex made for their products.

Acting Judge D T v R Du Plessis  ruled in Herbex’s favour. This should be contrasted with the ruling made by the highly respected former Constitutional Court Judge, Kate O’Regan, who considered the very same argument in a Final Appeal Committee (FAC) ruling. Herbex argued, among other, that although they are members of the HPA, and although the HPA are members of the ASA, that Herbex are not members of the ASA – and therefore that the ASA has no jurisdiction over their false claims.

Lawyers for the HPA joined those of Herbex in the latter’s appeal. Usually the FAC comprises 3 additional members, but because of the gravity of the appeal, this was increased to 5, and … Read the rest

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Open season for snake oil salesmen?

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Posted 23 November 2015

This article written by patent attorney, Hans Muhlberg, is reproduced here with permission from the author.

Open season for snake oil salesmen?

Does the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa  (ASA) have the jurisdiction to rule on adverts placed by companies that aren’t members of the ASA?

If you’re involved in ASA matters, you’ll know that it’s not uncommon for the ASA to rule on such ads. You’ll also know that these rulings tend to be effective, despite the fact that the ASA is a voluntary body, whose rulings are only binding on its members. The reason is simple –  the SA media companies (electronic, TV, print, billboard) belong to the ASA, which means that as soon as the ASA rules that an ad contravenes the ASA Code (by making unsubstantiated claims for example), the media companies refuse to touch the ad. So the ad’s … Read the rest

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Power Report: Watchdog in chains as advertiser fights back

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Posted 17 November 2015

This article, written by Megan Power, appeared in the Sunday Times of 15 November 2015. [Permission to republish it was kindly granted by the Sunday Times.]

The article highlights the legal actions of Antagolin (MNI), Herbex, Solal and USN, against the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority), as well as against Dr Harris Steinman. Megan Power makes the accurate point: “There’s a quiet war being waged against South Africa’s advertising watchdog“. All these companies have had ASA rulings against claims for their products. See also the previous article about this.

Homemark has in the meantime persuaded the ASA to suspend all processes and procedures regarding complaints against Homemark, until the MNI appeal, or the actual court case is concluded, depending which happens first. All these companies are being represented by Saul Shoot of Fluxmans.

Watchdog in chains as advertiser fights back Court ruling against advertising authority Read the rest

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MCC and a decade of deliberate deception

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Posted 22 February 2012

This is a statement by the South African Association for Responsible Health Information and Advertising (ARHIA). It has been released on the 10th anniversary of a notice in the government gazette that has undermined the scientific governance of medicine in South Africa.

The Decade

Wednesday 22 February 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of the call up of "medicines frequently referred to as complementary medicines". This "call up" initiated by the Medicines Control Council (MCC) ten years ago was intended to be an audit of the complementary medicines market over a six month period, but its unintended consequences have resulted in a ten year deluge of dubious and unproven products to the detriment of people living in South Africa.

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Solal Technologies’ astonishing letter of demand

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Posted: 19 December 2011

Company tries yet again to silence its critics

By Harris Steinman and Nathan Geffen
Cross-posted in Quackdown!

Last year Solal Technologies sent letters of demand threatening to sue Roy Jobson and one of us (Steinman) for defamation. They have not carried out that threat. Now the company is once again trying to intimidate those who criticise it.

Kevin Charleston has lodged several complaints with the ASA, including some against Solal Technologies. Most have been upheld; his complaints are not frivolous. For example, Charleston successfully pointed out that Solal’s claim that vitamin D is as effective as a vaccine was unsubstantiated. Charleston’s active citizenship, for which he receives no reimbursement, helps protect the public from false advertising. How has Solal reacted? Have the company’s directors expressed humility and decided to change their modus operandi? Have they sent Charleston a letter of thanks for helping them Read the rest

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Multiple organ failure – death of consumer protection?

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“This hard-hitting commentary by Harris Steinman and Roy Jobson appears in the August 2010 South African Medical Journal (SAMJ).”

“Multiple organ failure has clearly resulted in an inability to efficiently clear or reject deleterious medicines and substances, resulting in financial and health trauma to consumers, with possible consequences including unnecessary deaths.”

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