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Home Rulings WONDERNUT TM WESTERN CAPE WELLNESS / D BUYS / 2018-7196F

WONDERNUT TM WESTERN CAPE WELLNESS / D BUYS / 2018-7196F

Mrs Buys lodged a consumer complaint against a Facebook advertisement promoting the Wondernut product.  

The advertisement states, inter alia, "The Key To Get Ahead Is To Get Started”.

It further lists the following:


COMPLAINT

In essence, the Complainant submitted that the advertisement does not contain side effects, or state the dangers of taking more than the recommended dosage. There is no mention of safety for pregnant or lactating women, no warnings about children taking the nut, and before and after photos are not dated or signed.

It was further submitted that there is no mention that the nuts are toxic, a purgative and could result in severe diarrhoea, and that deaths have been reported due to incorrect usage.

RELEVANT CLAUSE OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE

In light of the complaint the following clauses of the Code were taken into account:
  • Clause 4.2.1, Section II – Misleading claims
  • Clause 4.1, Section II – Substantiation


RESPONSE

The Respondent submitted that its agents are fully trained to assist all clients, old and new, with all relative information. In each of the packaging, it provides customers with a pamphlet explaining all the side effects as well as the do’s and don’ts of the product. It argued that its product is not the Candlenut, which is the nut associated with diarrhoea, toxins and death. The scientific name for its nut is Aleurites Mollucana (L) Willd.

However, the Respondent submitted, inter alia, that the advertisement that was placed on the webpage of Wondernut TM – Western Cape Wellness was rectified as not to bring its product under misrepresentation. The claims that were made on the original advertisement were as a result of feedback its company received from clients using its product for long periods of time.



ASA DIRECTORATE RULING

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

It is firstly noted that the complaint appears, in part, to be based on a misunderstanding as to exactly what the advertised product is.

Nonetheless, the Respondent submitted that the advertisement was rectified so as not to bring its product under misrepresentation.

A search into the Respondent’s Facebook page and the website reveals that the claims complained of were amended. The amendments appear to address the concerns raised in the complaint.

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 to amend the advertisement appears to address the complainant’s concerns and there is therefore no need for the Directorate to consider the merits of the matter. 

Accordingly the undertaking is accepted on condition that the advertising in its original and complained of format is not used again in future.




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