Monday, 29 March 2010

*Biofirm Danish Detox Plan - detox in a box

New Nordic are the manufacturers of this bespoke "detox plan", advertised in this month's Natural Health magazine.

UPDATE, 27 APR: ASA reply "You may not be surprised to learn that this ad has already come to our attention and we received an assurance at the end of February that this ad would not appear again. However, we understand from the publication that the advertisers would have needed to cancel the ad by 19 February to prevent it from appearing in the April edition. As the assurance was provided after the deadline to pull ads, we do not intend to pursue your complaint further on this occasion."

Unfortunately, I understand that there is no evidence that "detox" regimes are anything more than elaborate fairy stories. I have put my concerns to the ASA.

"I write to complain about an advert in “Natural Health" Magazine (April 2010, page 24), which promotes the "Biofirm Danish Detox Plan".

I suspect that the advert may be in breach of three sections of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP) code.

I have submitted a scan of the advert. I can provide an original copy of the advert by post, if required.

1. The CAP Code, Section 3.1, states "Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove all claims, whether direct or implied, that are capable of objective substantiation."

2. The CAP Code, Section 50.1, states "Medical and scientific claims made about beauty and health-related products should be backed by evidence, where appropriate consisting of trials conducted on people..."

3. I challenge whether the advertiser holds documentary evidence to prove any of the following claims, and I challenge whether the claims are backed by evidence, where appropriate consisting of clinical trials conducted on people:

(i) The Biofirm Danish Detox Plan supports your body to deal with toxins

(ii) Users of the Biofirm Danish Detox Plan who experience headaches, spots on the skin and increased bowel movements during the first few days can be confident that "detox is working"

(iii) The Biofirm Danish Detox Plan prevents buildups of fluid and waste material for those users with unhealthy diets

(iv) Detoxification is greatly helped by drinking mineral water

(v) Detoxification is greatly helped by eating "organically-produced foods"

(vi) The Bioform Danish Detox Plan is safe

4. The CAP Code, Section 40.3, states "Testimonials alone do not constitute substantiation and the opinions expressed in them must be supported, where necessary, with independent evidence of their accuracy..."

5. I challenge whether the following opinions expressed in the advert's testimonial are supported, where necessary, with independent evidence of their accuracy:

(i) The Biofirm Danish Detox Plan is a "natural detoxification course"

(ii) The Biofirm Danish Detox Plan can help to "rid [someone's] body of
of rubbish [in combination with a healthier diet]"

6. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser, with the magazine, or with the publishing and alternative medicine industries in general. I confirm that I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser or the magazine.

7. I confirm that I am happy to be identified as the complainant."

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