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ASA Adjudication on Finitro

Finitro

Slington House
Rankine Road
Basingstoke
Hampshire
RG24 8PH

Date:

21 September 2011

Media:

Internet (on own site)

Sector:

Health and beauty

Number of complaints:

3

Complaint Ref:

A11-161840

Ad

Claims for a supplement which appeared on finitro.co.uk on 8 June 2011 stated "Finitro Forte Plus. Breakthrough In the production, rebuildin [sic] and maintaining of cartilage and maintaining of flexible joints. Finitro Forte Plus amazing results in the treatment of arthritic, rheumatic and other joint pains. Finitro Forte Plus is regarded as the most effective cure world wide".

Further down the page, text under the headline "Why Finitro Forte Plus?" stated "At the moment Finitro Forte Plus is the most powerful remedy on the international market against rheumatic disorders and other chronic articulation pains. Finitro Forte Plus is the only cure that also contains non-denatured Collage Type II next to Glucosamin [sic] and Chondroitin. Of this type Collagen is known that for people with rheumatism the auto-immune reaction is slown [sic] down as a result of which the arthritis decreases strongly. Finitro Forte Plus also contains MSM and herbs like Harpagophytum, Boswellia, Philodendron and Urtica Dioica with a strong anti-inflammatory effect, as a result of which most people with articulation pains will see a clear improvement after only a few days".

Underneath the headline claim "Result of the independent researches [sic]" text stated "After 2 weeks you will experience less pain. After 4 weeks you will feel almost no pain in your joints. The cartilage begins to rebuild and you will see a slight improvement in joint greasing. After 8 weeks, the joint pain should disappear. The cartilage is rebuilt and there is more joint greasing. After 12 weeks, you not only have no more pain, but your joints should also move much smoother. The rebuilding of cartilage and joint greasing are currently optimal. After continuous use of Finitro Forte Plus, the recovery of the cartilage and a life free of pain are guaranteed".

The website provided instructions for use and stated "The cures may not be used as a replacement for a varied and balanced nutrition".

Issue

1. Two complaints challenged whether the efficacy claims to produce, rebuild or recover cartilage were misleading and could be substantiated.

The ASA challenged whether:

2. the claims that the product could cure arthritis and rheumatic disorders were misleading and could be substantiated;

3. those claims discouraged essential treatment for conditions which medical supervision should be sought; and

4. the claim "a life free of pain [is] guaranteed" was misleading and could be substantiated.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

Response

Finitro did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.

Assessment

Upheld

The ASA was concerned by Finitro’s lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.

1. Upheld

We considered that claims such as "Finitro Forte Plus. Breakthrough In the production, rebuildin [sic] and maintaining of cartilage and maintaining of flexible joints”, “The cartilage [in your joints] begins to rebuild ...”, “The cartilage is rebuilt”, “The rebuilding of cartilage and joint greasing are currently optimal” and “After continuous use of Finitro Forte Plus, the recovery of the cartilage ... [is] guaranteed” were breakthrough claims and we expected Finitro to hold robust, scientific evidence, such as clinical trials conducted on people, in order to substantiate them. Because we had not seen any such evidence, we concluded those claims had not been substantiated and were misleading.

On this point, the website breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 3.11 (Exaggeration), 12.1 (Medicines, medical devices, health related products and beauty products), 15.1 and 15.7 (Food Supplements and other Vitamins and Minerals).

2. Upheld

We considered claims such as “Finitro Forte Plus amazing results in the treatment of arthritic, rheumatic and other joint pains. Finitro Forte Plus is regarded as the most effective cure world wide [sic]” and “Finitro Forte Plus is the most powerful remedy on the international market against rheumatic disorders and other chronic articulation pains” implied that Finitro Forte Plus could help to treat and cure arthritis and rheumatic disorders. We again expected Finitro to hold robust scientific evidence that their product could treat and cure those conditions. Because we did not see any such evidence, we concluded that the claims were misleading.

On this point, the website breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 12.1 and 12.6 (Medicines, medical devices, health related products and beauty products).

3. Upheld

We noted that the claims stated that Finitro Forte Plus could cure arthritis and was a remedy for rheumatic disorders. We considered that arthritis and rheumatic disorders were conditions for which medical supervision should be sought. We noted that the supplement could be ordered direct from the website and as the treatment would therefore not be conducted under medical supervision we considered the website discouraged essential treatment for those conditions.

On this point, the website breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 12.2 (Medicines, medical devices, health related products and beauty products).

4. Upheld

We considered that the claim “a life free of pain [is] guaranteed” was an absolute one and was capable of substantiation. We again expected Finitro to hold robust, scientific evidence that showed that taking Finitro meant consumers would never again experience pain associated with their arthritis and rheumatic disorder. Because we had not seen any such evidence, we concluded that the claim was misleading.

On this point, the website breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 12.1 (Medicines, medical devices, health related products and beauty products).

Action

The claims should not appear again in their current form. We told Finitro not to make efficacy claims that the product could produce, rebuild or recover cartilage or that taking Finitro guaranteed a life free of pain. We also told them to remove claims that Finitro could treat or cure arthritis or rheumatic disorders and to remove references to conditions for which medical supervision should be sought. We referred the matter to the CAP Compliance team.

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