An ad on the website www.chemistdirect.co.uk for Medigro Hair Loss Treatment stated, "MediGro Hair Loss Treatment for Men & Women contains a blend of 100% natural ingredients which are proven to promote hair growth. OptiMSM, botanical marine proteins from spirulina, kelp, I-argine, l-lysine, horsetail herbs, zinc and biotin are all blended together to create GroMax, a natural advanced formulation that when taken daily can help prevent hair loss, baldness and thinning hair."
"MediGro Revolutionary New Hair Growth Treatment with the unique advanced formulation GroMax (tm) contains a blend of 100% natural ingredients which are proven to promote hair growth: Can help to prevent hair loss, baldness and thinning hair; Results noticeable in as little as 12 weeks; Contains a GroMax (tm) a unique advanced formulation proven to promote hair growth; MediGro is recommended by leading Trichologists and hair loss experts across the UK; 100% natural derived; Voted out [sic] most effective hair loss supplement".
"How Does MediGro Work? The Science Behind The Secret! MediGro is the revolutionary new natural hair growth supplement that has been clinically proven to tackle the problem of hair loss. MediGro contains the unique advanced formulation GroMax (tm) that provides the essential proteins needed to nourish thinning hair and to encourage existing hair growth. The revolutionary ingredients work through the bloodstream to provide nourishment to the hair follicles. This stimulates the hair follicles from the resting phase (Telogen) back to the growing phase (Anagen) helping to promote new hair growth."
"Who can benefit from MediGro? Anyone who suffers from abnormal hair loss can benefit from MediGro. this includes: Hereditary hair loss, male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia; Hair loss due to a medical disorder or a prescribed medication; Hair loss from poor nutrition; Hair loss caused by bad hair care techniques; Hair loss caused by severe stress such as emotional anxiety, surgery or prolonged illness".
The complainant challenged whether the efficacy claims for the product in preventing hair loss and promoting hair growth could be substantiated.
Direct Healthcare Ltd (Direct Healthcare), upon receiving the complaint, made changes to the ad and considered that these resolved the complaint.
The ASA noted the changes made by Direct Healthcare, but because efficacy claims for the product remained in the ad, we continued to investigate it, as it had appeared when seen by the complainant. In addition, the name of the product "MediGro Hair Loss Formulation" was itself an implied claim, that the product could prevent, slow or reverse hair loss. Because we had not seen scientific evidence, consisting of trials conducted on people, to support the efficacy claims in the ad, we concluded that they were unsubstantiated and therefore in breach of the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising), 3.7 3.7 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation. (Substantiation), 3.11 3.11 Marketing communications must not mislead consumers by exaggerating the capability or performance of a product. (Exaggeration) and 12.23 12.23 Marketers must be able to provide scientific evidence, if relevant consisting of trials conducted on people, for any claim that their product or therapy can prevent baldness or slow it down, arrest or reverse hair loss, stimulate or improve hair growth, nourish hair roots, strengthen the hair or improve its health as distinct from its appearance. (Hair and scalp).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Direct Healthcare Ltd to remove the efficacy claims for the product.