Sunday, 8 August 2010

*The Ultra Skinny Mini Weight Management Energy System

I found a flyer the other day titled 'Ultra Skinny Mini'.

Assuming it was an advert for some kind of retro mini-skirt tastefully modelled by some attractive blondes, I stuffed the flyer into a pocket for... err, later examination.

UPDATE, 3 Nov: The ASA have written to tell me the advertisers, who are based in America, no longer sell the product in the UK.

Alas, the "Ultra Skinny Mini" turns out to be merely a bullshit weight-loss remedy modelled by attractive blondes.

The advertisers promise their product will "cleanse" and "detoxify" your body before you start your diet - 'cos, apparently, "Detox and cleansing are the missing links to long-term weight loss".

I'd certainly like to see the evidence supporting that, as well as the evidence that lends credence to all the other extravagant claims in the flyer (available here and here.)

ASA complaint follows!

"I write to complain about a flyer I picket up at Luton Indoor Market, outside the "First Health" shop [1].

The flyer promotes two weight-loss products sold in the shop, the "Ultra Skinny Mini Countdown Weight Loss Formula" and "Ultra Skinny Mini Tablets".

I suspect that the flyer 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 flyer by post, if required.

1. Although the flyer was produced in America, I am assuming that, since a dozen copies of the flyer were available at the entrance to the shop, the CAP Code applies to it. When I refer to the "advertisers", I mean specifically both the producer of the flyer, and the shop which uses the flyer to promote the products they sell.

2. The flyer promotes three products, of which two are the subject of the complaint.

(The "Ultra Skinny Mini Countdown Weight Loss Formula")

3. Under Sections 3.1 and 51.1 of the CAP Code, I challenge whether the advertisers can substantiate any of the following claims:

(i) Weight loss is easier to achieve after "cleansing" the body ("Long term...weight loss is easier to achieve when you start by internally cleansing your body to get it working right [sic]")

(ii) Weight loss is easier to achieve after "detoxing" the body ("Detox and cleansing and the missing links to long-term weight loss. That's because the more toxic your body becomes, the more difficulty you will have losing weight...")

(iii) The product, "through its all-natural cleansing activity", "ignites weight loss with exhilarating energy..."

(iv) The product "helps bring the body into balance, delivering phytonutrients from a broad range of Nature's life-enhancing foods..."

(v) The product "cleanses" the body ("When the [body] is bogged down with accumulated toxins and waste, the entire system falters...[the product] delivers a host of benefits with its herbal cleansing that the body is better equipped to use food for energy, instead of storing it as fat")

(vi) Exercise and reduced calorie intake produce toxins which impede weight loss ("...before is also important to remove toxins that can result from starting the diet itself...The stress and unpleasant side effects of these metabolic toxins [from exercise] can easily derail even the best-planned diet")

(vii) The product can help with these unpleasant consequences of exercise and healthy eating ("...[the product] delivers natural nutrition and powerful antioxidants to help minimize the toxins and quench free radicals associated with dieting...")

(viii) The product can improve the motivation of dieters ("...[the product] delivers powerful energy-boosters...Energized and motivated, dieters are inspired to stick to their program...")

(The "Ultra Skinny Mini Tablets")

4. Under Sections 3.1 and 51.1 of the CAP Code, I challenge whether the advertisers can substantiate the following claim:

(ix) The product causes energy to be burned, not stored as fat ("...will really shift your diet metabolism into high gear. With a healthy diet and exercise... [the product] helps usher body fat into cellular energy-burning systems, where it can be burned instead of stored"

5. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser or the shop. I confirm I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser or the shop.



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