The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that ads for homeopathy from New Zealand natural health store “HealthPost” were misleading.
The Society for Science Based Healthcare complained about three advertisements from HealthPost. The ASA has released its decision to uphold two of these complaints, and to settle the third after the misleading claims identified in the complaint were removed.
HealthPost had advertised Cramp-Stop as being able to prevent and treat muscle cramp. Neither HealthPost nor the manufacturer of Cramp-Stop, NZ Natural Formulas, was able to supply credible evidence for the claims. The ASA ruled:
as no substantiation had been provided to support the strong therapeutic claims made, or adequate evidence to support the comparative claim, the original advertisement was likely to mislead the consumer.
Colic Calm was advertised as being proven effective in treating colic. However, neither HealthPost nor Colic Calm’s manufacturer were able to supply evidence to back their claims up. As such, the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that:
as no substantiation had been provided to support the efficacy of the product in helping a “baby’s digestive system adjust to new foods and help relieve stomach upset caused by infant teething” it was likely to mislead the consumer.
The complainant, Daniel Ryan, says
It’s disappointing that these products have been misleading consumers and exploiting their lack of knowledge that these are nothing more than the placebo effect
Ryan further notes he was happy with the outcome of the complaint, and hopes to see to see more upheld complaints against bad health claims for homeopathy.
The ASA also settled one and upheld two other complaints from the Society for Science Based Healthcare, regarding misleading claims in health ads.
Complaints against homeopathic business “Healing Haven” and New Zealand online pharmacy Pharmacy Direct, which was advertising ear candles, were upheld.
HealthPost removed strong health claims about a product called “Noni Juice” when it became clear they were not supported by evidence, resulting in the complaint being settled.
A complaint regarding misleading claims made by Red Seal about dental fluorosis in an ad for their fluoride-free toothpaste was settled, when they removed the claim voluntarily.