Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both of which were Upheld.
A website for food supplements, www.lamuscle.com:
a. Text on the product page for "Norateen® Heavyweight II" stated "… gives you more male hormone boosters and also Muscle Hormone Boosters in the form of: Mucuna Prureins - Scientifically shown to increase male hormone levels, Muscle Hormone levels, deposit more protein in muscle tissue, increase strength and muscle mass. Fenugreek - Amazingly powerful and totally natural male hormone booster. Beta Ecdysterone - LA Muscle are the pioneers of Beta Ecdysterone (we own betaecdysterone.com) and only use pure Beta Ecdysterone in the exact dosage recommended by science. DIM & Methoxyisoflavone - Great for increase in lean muscles, anti-catabolism and estrogen reduction".
b. Text on the product page for "Six Pack in 4 weeks (Extreme)", which comprised three different supplements ("6-Pack Pill", "FatStripper" and "FatStripper Intense"), stated "Designed to rapidly bring out your six pack abs in six weeks" and "In just 4 weeks you will feel and look slimmer and have less fat around your stomach and thigh regions, helping you achieve the six pack which you desire".
The European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance challenged whether the ads were in breach of the Code because:
1. ads (a) and (b) contained health claims that were not listed as authorised in the EU Register of Nutrition and Health Claims; and
2. ad (b) suggested that fat could be lost from specific parts of the body.
Upon receipt of the complaint, LA Muscle Ltd said that they would remove the disputed text from their advertising as soon as possible.
1. & 2. Upheld
The ASA noted that LA Muscle planned to remove the claims that were the subject of the complaint. However, we also noted that we had previously investigated and upheld claims about the "Fat Stripper" product in 2010, and that we contacted LA Muscle again about claims for that product in 2012. We were concerned that LA Muscle continued to make claims about the product that appeared to be in breach of that adjudication and contrary to the advice the CAP Compliance team had provided. We were also concerned that LA Muscle had been made aware that claims for these products could only appear if they had been authorised and appeared on the EU register of Nutrition and Health Claims, which we understood was not the case.
The ads breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications that contain nutrition or health claims must be supported by documentary evidence to show they meet the conditions of use associated with the relevant claim, as specified in the EU Register. Claims must be presented clearly and without exaggeration.
Only nutrition claims listed in the updated Annex of the EU Regulation (as reproduced in the EU Register) may be used in marketing communications.
Only health claims listed as authorised in the EU Register, or claims that would have the same meaning to the consumer may be used in marketing communications.
http://www.ec.europa.eu/food/food/labellingnutrition/claims/community_register/authorised_health_claims_en.htm. 15.7 (Food, food supplements and associated health or nutrition claims) and 13.9 13.9 Marketing communications must not contain claims that people can lose precise amounts of weight within a stated period or, except for marketing communications for surgical clinics, establishments and the like that comply with rule 12.3, that weight or fat can be lost from specific parts of the body. (Weight control and slimming).
The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told LA Muscle to ensure future advertising did not contain health claims that were not listed as authorised in the EU Register of Nutrition and Health Claims and that claims did not suggest that fat could be lost from specific parts of the body. We referred the matter to CAP's Compliance team.