ASA Adjudication on TropiCleanse Ltd
29 August 2012
Internet (sales promotion)
Health and beauty
Number of complaints:
Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both of which were Upheld.
A promotion seen on www.tropicleanse.com stated "Get Your Free Sample Now". The web page also featured the Royal Mail logo alongside text "AS ADVERTISED ON [Channel] 4, The Guardian, USA Today and CNN".
The complaint challenged whether:
1. the promotion made clear that consumers who requested a free sample would be automatically charged a monthly fee if they did not cancel; and
2. the advertiser had permission to use the featured logos.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
1. TropiCleanse Ltd said that the word "free" and the logos would be removed.
2. The advertiser did not comment on whether they had permission to use the logos.
After the ASA informed the advertiser of the complaint, we noted that the web page had been revised – the advertiser had removed the word "free" and the logos. The revised web page stated "TropiCleanse Sample ... Subtotal £0.00" which we considered would be viewed by consumers as akin to a free trial. We also noted that they had included small print at the bottom of the sample product page stating "By placing your order today, you'll be shipped a 2 week sample supply of TropiCleanse ... If for any reason you feel TropiCleanse is not for you, simply cancel within 15 days ... to decline enrolment in the auto-shipment programme, which conveniently sends you a full size supply every month ... at the low price of 54.90 [sic] ..." We pointed out to the advertiser that the revised ad was not clear enough regarding the consumer commitment; they did not respond to our correspondence. We concluded that because the reference to the sample was not followed immediately by qualifying text that made it clear that additional charges would be incurred if consumers did not cancel, we concluded that the promotion was misleading.
On this point the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1, 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.17 (Prices), 3.23 (Free) and 8.17.1 (Significant conditions for promotions).
Because the advertiser did not provide evidence that they had permission to use the logos, we concluded the ad breached the Code.
On this point, the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1, 3.3 (Misleading advertising) and 3.50 (Endorsements and testimonials).
The ad must not appear in its current form. We told TropiCleanse to ensure significant financial commitments were clearly stated in their promotions and to ensure they had permission to use third-party logos.