Vitaforce Generic Products – ASA ruling

Posted 02 May 2012 

A consumer lodged a consumer complaint against Pharma Natura’s Internet advertisement promoting its Vitaforce Generics range. The advertisement was published at http://pharmanatura.co.za/vitaforce-PremiumGenericTopUps.aspx. The complainant submitted, in essence, that claims promoting the Generics range of products need scientific substantiation. He added that those claims that contravene Appendix F need to be removed. The respondent addressed the merits of the matter, but in a subsequent response confirmed that all the statements that were raised by the complainant have been withdrawn or amended and will not be repeated. 

 Vitaforce Generic Products / R Jobson / 19036  Ruling of the : ASA  Directorate  In the matter between:M R Jobson         Complainant(s)/Appellant(s) Pharma Natura (Pty) Ltd               Respondent

26 Apr 2012

http://www.asasa.org.za/ResultDetail.aspx?Ruling=6058

Prof Jobson lodged a consumer complaint against Pharma Natura’s Internet advertisement promoting its Vitaforce Generics range. The advertisement was published at http://pharmanatura.co.za/vitaforce-PremiumGenericTopUps.aspx.

The advertisement, inter alia, contains a table setting out the following product-related information:

  • “A-10000 IU Caps 100 Essential for growth, reproductive functioning and good vision.
  • Aged Garlic Extract Caps 60 Immune and antioxidant support B Complex Forte Caps 60 Helps improve metabolism, reduces fatigue and increases energy levels
  • B6 – 50mg Pyridoxine Tabs 100 Helps reduce symptoms of PMS and pregnancy induced nausea Biotin 300mcg Tabs 60 Promotes healthy skin and strong nails
  • C-500mg Tabs 60 Immune Support
  • CoEnzyme Q10 Caps 60 Helps cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension Desiccated Liver Tabs 120 Supports muscular development
  • E-1000 IU Caps 30,50 Protects against cell membrane damage through its role as an antioxidant
  • E- 400 IU Caps 100 Protects against cell membrane damage through its role as an antioxidant E – 500 IU (Natural) Caps 60 Protects against cell membrane damage through its role as an antioxidant Evening Primrose Oil Caps 90 Promotes healthy skin and reduces symptoms of PMS Flaxseed 1000 Caps 60 Promotes heart health and joint mobility Folic Acid & B12 Tabs 100 Supports a healthy pregnancy and maintains heart health Garlic & Cod liver oil Caps 60 Immune support Hair & Nails Tabs 30 Nourishes and conditions hair and nails Juniwa Caps 50 Helps prevent water retention Omega 3 EPA Caps 90 Promotes cardiovascular health and improves concentration Zinc + A + B6 Tabs 100 Helps teenagers with problem skin and supports male fertility”

COMPLAINT

The complainant submitted, in essence, that claims promoting the Generics range of products need scientific substantiation. He added that those claims that contravene Appendix F need to be removed.

RELEVANT CLAUSES OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE In light of the complaint the following clauses of the Code were considered relevant:

• Clause 4.1 of Section II (Substantiation)

• Appendix F (Reference to disease in advertising)

RESPONSE

The respondent addressed the merits of the matter, but in a subsequent response confirmed that all the statements that were raised by the complainant have been withdrawn or amended and will not be repeated.

ASA DIRECTORATE RULING

The ASA Directorate considered all the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.

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 at this time.

The undertaking is accepted on condition that the claims in question are not used again in future in their current format. The respondent’s attention is also drawn to the provisions of Clause 15.5 of the Procedural Guide.

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