Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Bodytox - Detox in a Box


Here's a trio of complaints about Bodytox and their amazing magical foot patches.


I've already won an ASA Adjudication about claims that the first of these - the Bodytox Detox Foot Patch - is able to detoxify the body (although, in that case, a different advertiser was involved).


The other products are also claimed to have miraculous detoxification abilities. Can the advertisers substantiate their claims?

Personally, I doubt it - I haven't heard their name in any Nobel Prize awards recently. ASA complaints follow!


The BodyTox Detox Foot Patches (pictured, and available here and here)

"I write to complain about a flyer I picked up at the CamExpo exhibition in London on 24th October this year.

The flyer, for Bodytox Ltd, promotes their "Bodytox Detox Foot Patches".

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 the original flyer by post, if necessary.

1. The flyer is titled:

"Bodytox DETOX FOOT PATCHES...THE SIMPLE, EFFECTIVE AND MOST NATURAL WAY TO DETOXIFY"

2. In March this year I complained to the ASA about detox claims for the same product, appearing in a different advert by different advertisers. In April you wrote to tell me the claims had been passed to your Compliance Team.

3. The UK's leading authority on complementary medicine, Professor Edzard Ernst, has recently written about "detox" therapies [1]:

"Detox, as used in alternative medicine, is based on ill-conceived ideas about human physiology, metabolism, toxicology etc. There is no evidence that it does any good and some treatments...can be harmful. The only substance that is being removed from a patient is usually money."

4. Ernst has also written about reflexology [2]:

"...there is no convincing evidence that [reflexology] is effective for any condition. Reflexology is expensive, and it offers nothing more than could be achieved from a simple, relaxing foot massage."

5. Under Section 12.1 of the CAP Code, I challenge whether the advertisers can substantiate any of the following claims, and under Section 3.1 I challenge whether the claims are misleading:

(i) "Bodytox" is "THE SIMPLE, EFFECTIVE AND MOST NATURAL WAY TO DETOXIFY"

(ii) The named medical conditions, including cancer, arthritis, obesity, skin problems, headaches, fatigue, pains and coughs are caused by "toxicity"

(iii) "Fasting" causes "detoxification"

(iv) There are "many other ways" to "detoxify" the body, including "Bodytox Detox Foot Patches"

(v) The patches will cause you to "experience a noticeable difference in energy, vitality and general well being [sic]"

(vi) Reflexology was practised in "China over 5000 years ago" as well as in ancient Egypt, 16th century Europeans and by the Hopi Tribe of North America.

(vii) Reflexology "works", and "...on similar principles to Bodytox Detox Foot Patches"

(viii) "According to medical knowledge, the human body has over 360 acupuncture points..."

(ix) "When Bodytox Detox Foot Patches are applied to the soles of the feet, powerful ingredients encourage the release of any toxins in the lymphatic symptoms..."

(x) "The patch ingredients work by producing negative ions...as well as absorbing and containing unwanted toxins"

(xi) The patches "open the pores of the skin, allowing the accumulated wastes to be drawn out under osmotic pressure from the blood and lymphatic systems resulting in the elimination of toxins. Absorption and containment of the expelled toxins are achieved by a natural highly absorbent [sic] powder contained in the patch."

(xii) The patches "can provide the following benefits: Absorbs the body's toxins - Improves quality of sleep - Boosts energy levels - Promotes health & well being [sic]"

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

Footnotes:

[1] Simon Singh, Edzard Ernst, "Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial", American edition 2008, p308

[2] Ibid., p323
"


The BodyTox Lavender Sleep Patches (pictured, and available here and here)

"I write to complain about a flyer I picked up at the CamExpo exhibition in London on 24th October this year.

The flyer, for Bodytox Ltd, promotes their "Bodytox LAVENDER SLEEP PATCHES".

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 the original flyer by post, if necessary.

1. The flyer is titled:

"Bodytox LAVENDER SLEEP PATCHES...THE NATURAL, EFFECTIVE WAY TO A RESTFUL NIGHT'S SLEEP"

2. The UK's leading authority on complementary medicine, Professor Edzard Ernst, has recently written about "detox" therapies [1]:

"Detox, as used in alternative medicine, is based on ill-conceived ideas about human physiology, metabolism, toxicology etc. There is no evidence that it does any good and some treatments...can be harmful. The only substance that is being removed from a patient is usually money."

3. Under Section 12.1 of the CAP Code, I challenge whether the advertisers can substantiate any of the following claims, and under Section 3.1 I challenge whether the claims are misleading:

(i) "Bodytox Lavender Sleep Patches...can also be effective for detoxification"

(ii) "Using the reflexology chart, [you can] determine which areas of the body you would like to detox"

(iii) "If the patches come off with a mixture of stained and clear areas, stained areas indicate where your body is holding toxic material"

(iv) "...the detox may require 6-14 days to achieve maximum results...stop using the patches when they start to become patchy and lighter in colour as less toxins are extracted. Once you feel you have achieved an optimum level of detoxification...the patches can then be used as a maintenance program [sic] for 3 days or longer if required"

(v) The lavender oil in the patches "not only detoxify the body but aid the user to enjoy a restful night's sleep"

(vi) "According to medical knowledge, the human body has over 360 acupuncture points..."

(vii) "As the blood circulates to the soles of the feet, a powerful mixture of natural ingredients...encourage the release of toxins. The patches absorb accumulated waste matters from your body while you sleep. This can result in a noticeable difference in energy, vitality and general well-being."

(viii) "Bodytox Lavender Sleep Patches can provide the following benefits: Absorbs the body's toxins - More restful night's sleep - Boosts energy levels - Promotes health and well being [sic]"

4. I confirm I have no connections with the advertiser. I confirm I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser.

Footnotes:

[1] Simon Singh, Edzard Ernst, "Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial", American edition 2008, p308"


The Bodytox Natural Warm Patches (pictured, and available here and here)

"I write to complain about a flyer I picked up at the CamExpo exhibition in London on 24th October this year.

The flyer, for Bodytox Ltd, promotes their "Bodytox NATURAL WARM PATCHES".

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 the original flyer by post, if necessary.

1. The flyer is titled:

"Bodytox NATURAL WARM PATCHES...HELPS TARGET AND MAINTAIN GOOD BLOOD CIRCULATION"

2. In June this year the ASA Council upheld my complaint about a very similar (or possibly identical) product in a promotion by different advertisers (complaint ref. 120878).

3. The UK's leading authority on complementary medicine, Professor Edzard Ernst, has recently written about "detox" therapies [1]:

"Detox, as used in alternative medicine, is based on ill-conceived ideas about human physiology, metabolism, toxicology etc. There is no evidence that it does any good and some treatments...can be harmful. The only substance that is being removed from a patient is usually money."

4. Under Section 12.1 of the CAP Code, I challenge whether the advertisers can substantiate any of the following claims, and under Section 3.1 I challenge whether the claims are misleading:

(i) "Bodytox Natural Warm Patches...can also be effective for carrying out detoxification and maintaining good blood circulation..."

(ii) "The warm energy...can knock toxins loose from fat cells in the body which in turn are released through sweating"

(iii) "...the ingredients within the patch create negative ions and absorption of unwanted toxins"

(iv) "Bodytox Natural Warm Patches can provide the following benefits...Absorb the body's toxins...Maintains good circulation...Promotes health & well being [sic]"

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

Footnotes:

[1] Simon Singh, Edzard Ernst, "Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial", American edition 2008, p308"

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