Complaints on 'detox patches' upheld
Complaints about advertised health benefits of 'detox' foot patches and 'fat-burning capsules' were among those upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI).
The independent complaints committee upheld complaints in the cases of eight adverts out of 13 it considered at its most recent monthly meeting.
The authority received a complaint about an offer on the third party deal website bagadeal.ie placed by Dtox Limited offering a supply of ‘Natural Detox Foot Patches’ for €20 instead of €45 for 10-nights supply.
Among the benefits claimed for the patches were that they helped circulation and weight loss, alleviate muscle and joint pains and “improved your overall well-being”.
The complainant challenged whether the advertiser could provide sufficient evidence for the claims.
The committee found that in the absence of substantiation for the claims made in the advertising, it was in breach of section 8.1 of the ASAI code and must not be used in its current format again.
The section provides that claims about health and beauty products and treatments should be substantiated, including the results of practical trials on human subjects.
A similar complaint was also made about advertising for the Tamer Clinic placed on the website megadeals.ie. This ad offered 10 detox foot patches for €15. Claims made for the patches included that they provided “an unparalleled and effective external cleansing experience that can relieve arthritis pain, increase energy, reduces stress, improve circulation, enhance mental focus and concentration, soothe headaches and more”.
The committee found the ad to be in breach of three sections of the advertising code and said it must not be used in its current format again.
Television advertising for Pharma Nord CLA 24/7 'fat-burning capsules' were also found to be in breach of two sections of the code. The adverts had depicted the computerised 'shrinking' of a woman’s body as she slept.
A complaint about a national press advertisement for a Unilever product was also upheld. An image in the ad depicted a family cycling without safety helmets. The advertisers were informed by the authority that the Road Safety Authority had expressed concerns about the depiction of cyclists without helmets. The advertisers said it had not been their intention to encourage unsafe practice and they would not use the image again.
Similar concerns arose in an television ad for Meteor, which showed a cyclist chasing after a bus while using his mobile phone. In this case, the RSA indicated it was of the view that the ad promoted “highly dangerous road user behaviour”. The committee found the ad to be in breach of section 2.29 of the code.
The advertisers indicated they would edit the scene in the ad to ensure the cyclist would in no way be depicted as promoting reckless behaviour.
Complaints were also upheld in relation to an Eircom ad for a discount on broadband. The committee said the ad indicated the offer was available to new customers, whereas it was not in fact available to all new customers.
Other complaints upheld included three against 11890 Ltd over a 'free' text-back map service. The committee found that customers’ liability in relation to network charges that might apply when they clicked on the map should be made clear.
A complaint against Apache Pizza in Palmerstown was also upheld. A poster advertising free delivery had not made exclusions and conditions clear, the committee found.
Complaints in relation to radio and outdoor advertising by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children were not upheld.
The radio ad featured a young boy speaking and repeating taunts he had heard about himself. The outdoor posters featured the tagline: 'The ISPCC Shield protecting children.' The two posters had featured the wording: 'You stupid little bitch' and 'You useless little bastard'.
The authority’s complaints committee found that on balance, the advertisements did not contravene the code. It said it recognised this was a difficult area and the radio script was probably a realistic portrayal of some people’s circumstances.
It acknowledged the radio script and words featured on the posters were reflective of they types of language young children were sometimes subject to. But it considered that advertisers “should be cognisant of the younger viewers and listeners being exposed to such language in the public domain”.