Cavi Brands-Solal – ASA Ruling

Posted 05 March 2013

A consumer complainant lodged a breach complaint against the CAVI Brands, arguing that it has not complied with the rulings of a previous ASA ruling. He complained of advertising for Solal present on the CAVI Brands website.

The ASA Directorate was satisfied that, while CAVI Brands did technically breach the original rulings by failing to completely remove the information it undertook to, there is no apparent need for sanctions as suggested by the complainant for these links were immediately removed upon being informed.

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Health Intelligence Magazine: Is it marketing or education?

Posted 22 May 2012 ~  Cross-posted to Quackdown

By Kevin Charleston 

There’s a deep irony in the latest edition of Health Intelligence (Edition 15 May/June 2012). In an article by staff writer Clio Stevens (Online Content Manager & Writer) titled Behind the scenes of pharmaceutical marketing: the details of veiled persuasion, she writes “We’ve published accounts of … disguising marketing 

  programmes as ‘professional education'”.  

The irony is that the magazine Health Intelligence is itself a disguised marketing programme for Solal Technologies, a company that actively promotes pseudoscience and aggressively attempts to shut out valid criticism of its advertising.

This glossy magazine, available on the shelves at major supermarkets and pharmacies at a cover price of R29.95 is little more than a marketing ploy by Solal Technologies, but nowhere in the magazine is the Solal connection mentioned.

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Health Intelligence – misguiding the public?

Update 15 May 2012: I have been sent evidence that “horse chestnut” (listed as “esculin”) was scheduled as S3 in December 1979.

Posted 12 May 2012

Health Intelligence magazine states on its front cover as a byline: “The Science of Health.” In its advertising blurb on its associated company Solal Technologies’ website, it is stated to be “Sophisticated. Cutting edge. Credible.” The editorials in Edition 15 (May 2012) are however misleading, and disturbingly so.

The first [text] editorial by Colin Levin bemoans the new food labelling regulations from the Department of Health as having gone too far “[i]n their noble intention to prevent (sic) consumers from misleading claims.” He even quotes the Health Products Association of South Africa (HPA) which is “disappointed” that the regulations don’t address the relationship between certain food (sic) and various diseases.

So what’s the problem?

If Mr Levin and/or his editorial team Read the rest

More sex = a longer life? Really???

The local South African magazine Health Intelligence Edition 12 proclaims on its cover: "Passion promotes health – sex for a longer life".


(Note: The highlighting box has been added.) On page 20 the article has the title: "Sex, so necessary for positive health: sex is a buzzword that defies trendsetting and social mores, staying top of mind and tip of tongue" and is written by Kirsten Alexander.  It is seemingly supported by 12 "scientific references" .

The Solal Technologies website Health Intelligence includes the following "product information": "Health Intelligence goes further and deeper [than other health magazines], because our focus falls squarely on the facts. Health Intelligence offers breakthrough science, enabling you to better protect your health. Thoroughly researched and using only the latest, peer-reviewed studies by leading international and local experts, Health Intelligence articles are not only credible, they are revolutionary, all the while offering life-enhancing Read the rest

Solal Technologies’ astonishing letter of demand

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

More Sad Facts . . .

Posted 17 December, 2011

A promise was made to publish a correction ('clarification') to a misleading and irresponsible article first published in Health Intelligence magazine Edition 10 on page 14. The article was about antidepressant medicines.  The promise was to publish the clarification in Edition 12.

An 'update' has been published in Health Intelligence magazine Edition 12 on page 11. Was it the promised clarification? Sadly not. Check out the updated blog at:

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‘Sad facts about happy pills’ – not so many facts!

Posted 23 August 2011; updated 17 December 2011

Edition 10 of a local magazine ‘Health Intelligence’ has on its cover a headline: ‘Antidepressant dangers exposed – The sad facts about happy pills’ – an article written by Morné Malan who has a PhD in English.

(The original article being deconstructed can be read here:
Sad Facts About Happy Pills – Health Intelligence Edition 10 page14)

UPDATE (17 December 2011)

Comment 8 of the comments section below contains the following statement by Brent Murphy the editor of Health Intelligence magazine: “Therefore we will be publishing the following statement in edition 12 (edition 11 is already in circulation so it can’t appear in that)”. (emphasis added) This is followed by the promised  “CLARIFICATION” which reads:

In an article Sad Facts about Happy Pills featured in Health Intelligence 10,  it was reported as “FACTS” that antidepressants cause death, Read the rest