A database that tracks dubious medical claims.

Response number: 95

Responder: ASASA

Date of response: April 26, 2012

Type of response: ASA Directorate Ruling

The claims must be withdrawn and not used again

Claims dealt with in this response


Vitaforce Generic Products / R Jobson / 19036
Ruling of the : ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
M R Jobson Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)
Pharma Natura (Pty) Ltd Respondent

26 Apr 2012

Prof Jobson lodged a consumer complaint against Pharma Natura's Internet
advertisement promoting its Vitaforce Generics range. The advertisement was
published at http://pharmanatura.co.za/vitaforce-PremiumGenericTopUps.aspx.

The advertisement, inter alia, contains a table setting out the following
product-related information:

"A-10000 IU Caps 100 Essential for growth, reproductive functioning and good
Aged Garlic Extract Caps 60 Immune and antioxidant support
B Complex Forte Caps 60 Helps improve metabolism, reduces fatigue and
increases energy levels
B6 - 50mg Pyridoxine Tabs 100 Helps reduce symptoms of PMS and pregnancy
induced nausea
Biotin 300mcg Tabs 60 Promotes healthy skin and strong nails

C-500mg Tabs 60 Immune Support
CoEnzyme Q10 Caps 60 Helps cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension
Desiccated Liver Tabs 120 Supports muscular development
E-1000 IU Caps 30,50 Protects against cell membrane damage through its role
as an antioxidant
E- 400 IU Caps 100 Protects against cell membrane damage through its role as
an antioxidant
E - 500 IU (Natural) Caps 60 Protects against cell membrane damage through
its role as an antioxidant
Evening Primrose Oil Caps 90 Promotes healthy skin and reduces symptoms of
Flaxseed 1000 Caps 60 Promotes heart health and joint mobility
Folic Acid & B12 Tabs 100 Supports a healthy pregnancy and maintains heart
Garlic & Cod liver oil Caps 60 Immune support
Hair & Nails Tabs 30 Nourishes and conditions hair and nails
Juniwa Caps 50 Helps prevent water retention
Omega 3 EPA Caps 90 Promotes cardiovascular health and improves
Zinc + A + B6 Tabs 100 Helps teenagers with problem skin and supports male

The complainant submitted, in essence, that claims promoting the Generics
range of products need scientific substantiation. He added that those claims
that contravene Appendix F need to be removed.

In light of the complaint the following clauses of the Code were considered

. Clause 4.1 of Section II (Substantiation)

. Appendix F (Reference to disease in advertising)

The respondent addressed the merits of the matter, but in a subsequent
response confirmed that all the statements that were raised by the
complainant have been withdrawn or amended and will not be repeated.

The ASA Directorate considered all 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 at this time.

The undertaking is accepted on condition that the claims in question are not
used again in future in their current format. The respondent's attention is
also drawn to the provisions of Clause 15.5 of the Procedural Guide.