Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the Advertising Standards Authority.
Whilst the ASA and CAP accept that body wraps can have a temporary effect on weight and size, we understand that this is the result of little more than the expulsion of water from the body - much like a sauna or steam room - rather than loss of body fat. Any claims about the likely effects of such treatments should therefore reflect this.
Marketers may make general claims for temporary weight loss or inch loss, but should not claim that weight can be lost from specific areas of the body (rule 13.9), that the treatment is suitable for the overweight, or that any effects will be long lasting.
Marketers must hold robust evidence to support more specific efficacy claims including claims made in testimonials.
In 2005, the ASA considered a complaint about an ad for a “Universal Contour Wrap” which stated "double inch loss guarantee" and made "contouring” and “detoxifying” claims. Because the advertiser was unable demonstrate that the wrap was effective at achieving the stated results the ASA upheld the complaint (New Image Studio, 14 December 2005). See Detoxing: General.
Claims that people can lose a stated amount of weight in a specific period are not permitted (13.9). Claims that individuals have lost a specific amount of weight would need to supply details of the timeframe of that weight loss along with evidence that this example is representative. The rate of weight loss should be compatible with good nutritional practice (see Rule 13.10).
Take care when using before and after images
Marketers should remember that before and after images are likely to be considered implied efficacy claims. As such, robust supporting evidence that the product or treatment is effective at achieving the results shown must be held.
Marketers should also ensure they met the requirements of rules 3.45 to 3.48, in relation to holding signed and dated proof that the photos are genuine and are being used with permission. See Before and after photos.
Be socially responsible
Ads for body wraps should not encourage diet or lifestyle practices that are unhealthy. They should not, for example, encourage consumers to avoid drinking water in order to maintain the temporary effect gained from water loss.
See Weight Control: General, Weight Control: Obesity, Weight Control: Cellulite and CAP Guidance on Substantiation for health, beauty and slimming claims.