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Glomail Mega Memory / P Linzer / 8587

Ruling of the : ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
Patrick Linzer Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)
Glomail a division of Limited Editions (Pty) Ltd Respondent

18 May 2007

Mr Linzer lodged a consumer complaint against a Glomail infomercial promoting Kevin Trudeau’s Mega Memory system.

The infomercial features Kevin Trudeau holding the packaged system and claiming inter alia, “…the technique was developed while working with blind and mentally handicapped students…their recall ability increased from 15% to 90% in just five days…”.

COMPLAINT
In essence, the complainant submitted that the infomercial is misleading, as the product does not work, and this system and Mr Trudeau have been discredited by the American Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

RELEVANT CLAUSES OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
In light of the complaint, the following clauses of the Code were taken into account:

• Section II, Clause 4.1 – Substantiation

• Section II, Clause 4.2.1 – Misleading claims

RESPONSE
The respondent addressed the merits of the matter but also submitted that the infomercial will not be used again in its current format.

ASA DIRECTORATE RULING
The ASA Directorate considered the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.

The ASA has a long standing principle which holds that where an advertiser provides an unequivocal undertaking to withdraw or amend its advertising in a manner that addresses the concerns raised, that undertaking is accepted without considering the merits of the matter.

The respondent’s undertaking appears to address the complainants’ concerns and there is therefore no need for the Directorate to consider the merits of the matter.

The undertaking is accepted on condition that the claim in question is:

  • Withdrawn with immediate effect within the deadlines stipulated by Clause 15.3 of the Procedural Guide; and

  • Not used again in future.

The respondent’s attention is also drawn to Clause 15.5 of the Procedural Guide.

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