Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Pollenna - relieves symptoms of [insert here]

I almost missed this advert.

It was only the words "natural healthcare" in the bottom corner that caught my attention, and the words "homeopathic remedies" that kept it.

The advertiser claims that Pollenna "relieves symptoms of hay fever" and that Travella "relieves symptoms of travel sickness".

Prove it, I say.

ASA complaint follows.

"I write to complain about an advert in "Healthy" magazine (April 2010, Issue 77, p6). I understand that the magazine is sold exclusively in Holland & Barrett stores.

The advert, for Nelsons, promotes homeopathic remedies for various symptoms.

I suspect that the advert may be in breach of two sections of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP) code. 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. Under Sections 3.1 and 50.1, 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 trials conducted on people:

(i) Pollenna relieves symptoms of hayfever and similar allergies

(ii) Pollenna contains any active ingredients at all

(iii) Pollenna is suitable for "the whole family" (a baby, perhaps, upon whom a measurable placebo effect may not exist)

(iv) Pollenna, being a "homeopathic remedy", is "natural"

(v) Travella relieves travel sickness

4. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser, 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.

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

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