ASA Adjudication on Healthy for Life
Healthy for Life
P.O. Box 216
22 August 2012
Leaflet, Brochure, Insert
Health and beauty
Number of complaints:
Summary of Council decision:
Three issues were investigated, all of which were Upheld.
A magazine insert was headed, "Stop Degeneration Caused by Arthritis - Before it Stops You!" It included numerous medicinal claims about the treatment being offered, such as: "Heart: Pulse rate can normalise itself 10 days", "Rebuild Muscles, Tendons and Cartilage" and "Reduce Arthritis Pain and Inflammation".
Before and after photos showed an X-ray image of a joint. Text next to this stated, "Before: The joint cartilage is being attacked by arthritis and worn down through age, effort and shocks. The joint is increasingly painful and the episodes of arthritis more frequent. After: the joint & cartilage has been reconstructed and healed by the actions of collagen. Any pain has disappeared naturally".
Four complainants, two of whom were doctors, objected to the ad.
1. Three challenged whether the efficacy claims for the product could be substantiated.
2. One challenged whether the before and after images were misleading.
3. Two challenged whether the ad could discourage essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Healthy for Life said they would modify any future copy of the ad, but they declined to comment on the specific complaints received.
1., 2. and 3. Upheld
The ASA noted that the ad referred to a variety of medical conditions and made claims that the product could: improve concentration, memory and headaches, improve breathing, stop degeneration caused by arthritis, rejuvenate kidneys, liver and heart, rebuild muscles, control fluctuating cholesterol levels and treat rheumatism.
The complainants challenged whether: the many efficacy claims for the product could be substantiated; the before and after pictures were genuine; and the references to "prostate symptoms" could discourage essential medical treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought. However, because the ad made medicinal claims for the product and we understood that Healthy For Life were required to hold a marketing authorisation from the MHRA before marketing it to UK consumers, which they did not hold, we did not investigate the ad further but reminded the advertiser of their obligation to check their claims were legal under medicines law (CAP Code rule 12.11). We concluded that the ad breached the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 12.1, 12.2 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products) and 12.11 (Medicines).
The ad must not appear again in its current form.