Sunday, 17 October 2010

Phytolov's Toxin-busting Balm

Do any of my readers suffer from "ageing of the hands and dark pigmentation or dark spots on the hands"

How about a surfeit of "body waste products & toxins"? For those of you unfortunate enough to have been born without a liver, Phytolov have a solution!

Phytolov reckon their "Muscle Relaxing Balm" can help "repair and generate cells in the body" and "strengthen...muscles, tendons and ligaments...", but my scepticometer senses the vaguest possibility that the advertisers don't hold documentation to substantiate those boasts.

Here's my ASA letter about two of the products featured in the advertiser's flyers (available here and here) - since the research that calls into question a number of their other claims has only recently become available, I've gone easy on Phytolov and omitted the claims from my complaint.

"I write to complain about two flyers I picked up at the "Mind - Body - Soul" exhibition in London on 2nd October this year.

The flyers, for Phytolov, were distributed together as a set and make various claims for the properties of the advertiser's products.

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 (2010). I can provide the original flyers by post, if necessary.

1. The first flyer (yellow background) is titled "Phytolov Hand Care Cream".

2. (i) The flyer contains the text:

"PHYTOLOV Hand Care[s] combat ageing of the hands and dark pigmentation or dark spots on the hands."

(ii) Under Section 12.7 of the CAP Code, I challenge whether the claim can be substantiated.

3. The second flyer (pink background) is titled "Phytolov Muscle Relaxing Balm".

4. The flyer contains the text:

"The Muscle Relaxing [sic] specially designed for helping disperse stagnation of the Qi & blood, eliminating body waste products and toxins, alleviating and soothing away aches and pains. Owing the those essential fatty acids especially the Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), herbal extracts and natural anti-oxidants, the balm has a natural anti-inflammatory effect. It helps repair and regenerate cells in the body. The balm also helps strengthen the fibrous tissue, muscles, tendons and ligaments owing to those natural contents of calcium, iron, vitamins, manganese, selenium and essential fatty acids in the raw materials."

5. Under Section 3.7, I challenge whether any of the following claims can be substantiated:

(i) The Balm can "disperse stagnation of the...blood, eliminating body waste products and toxins"
(ii) The Balm itself, as distinct from the ingredients it contains, has "a natural anti-inflammatory effect"
(iii) The Balm "helps strengthen the fibrous tissue, muscles, tendons and ligaments..."

6. Both the flyers advertise different products on their reverse sides (a "Foot Care Cream" and a "Joint Care Gel"), neither of which concern this complaint. I can scan the reverse sides if you need to see the entire flyers.

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

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