ASA Adjudication on LA Muscle Ltd
LA Muscle Ltd
Unit 9, 3 Oliver Business Park
19 September 2012
Health and beauty
Number of complaints:
Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both were Upheld.
An ad in a men's interest magazine was headed "THE WORLD'S ONLY 6 PACK PILL GURANTEED [sic] TO WORK OR YOUR MONEY BACK". The ad featured pictures of three well-built men and a tub of the advertised product. Text on the tub stated "Fat burner & Blocker". Text below stated "100% PHARMACEUTICAL GRADE £44.99 24HRS FREEPHONE AND FREE DELIVERY 0800 XXX XXXX". The ad featured a logo which stated "LA Muscle". Text at the bottom right stated "As seen on active channel SKY 281".
1. The complainant challenged whether, by claiming that the product was a "Fat Burner", the ad made a medicinal claim for an unlicensed product.
2. The complainant also challenged whether the claim that the product was a "Fat ... Blocker" was misleading and could be substantiated.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
LA Muscle Ltd said they had now withdrawn the ad and would not use it again.
The ASA considered that the claim "Fat Burner", particularly when combined with the claim that the product was "100% PHARMACEUTICAL GRADE" implied that the product would have a physiological effect on the body by breaking down fat. We considered that the claim was therefore medicinal in nature.
The CAP Code required that medicinal claims should only be made for products that were licensed by the Medicinal and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). We understood that the product did not have such a licence and therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code.
On this point the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 12.1 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).
We understood that fat blocking pills worked by binding with the fat in food consumed and prevented it from being absorbed into the body. We considered this effect was not a physiological one and this was therefore not a medicinal claim. Nonetheless, we considered that the claim was capable of substantiation with robust clinical trials conducted on people. We noted that we had not received any evidence for the efficacy of the product from LA Muscle and therefore concluded that the claim had not been substantiated and was misleading.
On this point the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 12.1 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told LA Muscle not to make medicinal claims for products unless those products were licensed by the MHRA. We also told LA Muscle to ensure that they held robust substantiation before making other efficacy claims.