The advertised product contained CBD which the ASA understood might, in certain forms and under certain circumstances, be allowed by legislation. This investigation focused only on whether the ad in question made medicinal claims for unlicensed products.
A brochure for Positive Health included as an insert in The Times newspaper seen on 28 September 2019. The title of the brochure featured a white cross in a green circle. Text on the front page stated “Apply it… and Forget About Your Pain! CBD Miracle Pain Patch! The NEW CBD Miracle Patch Reduces: Chronic Pain Anxiety Depression Insomnia Diabetes Poor Memory Heart Problems High Blood Sugar And Much More …”. Text further down the page stated “The Miracle Pain Patch … gives you complete, fast-acting pain relief for your whole body […] organic CBD designed to penetrate quickly through your skin … Yet is it 100% safe and non-habit forming”. Text inside the brochure stated “Say good bye to ALL types of pain with the Miracle Pain Patch! Migraine pain, Back pain Nerve damage Fibromyalgia Joint pain Diabetic nerve pain Muscle aches With the Miracle Pain Patch, you WILL feel like a new person”.
IssueThe complainant challenged whether the ad made medicinal claims for an unlicensed product.
ResponseEasylife Group Ltd t/a Positive Health said that they would not run the insert again in its current form and would seek guidance before doing so. They said it was never their intention to mislead consumers.
AssessmentUpheld The CAP Code required that medicinal claims and indications were made only for a medicinal product that was licensed by the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) or under the auspices of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The ASA considered that in the context of the ad as a whole, consumers were likely to interpret the claims, “say goodbye to all types of pain with the miracle pain patch” with a list of ailments such as “migraine pain, back pain, nerve damage, fibromyalgia, depression and diabetic nerve pain” amongst several other conditions, as a claim to treat those conditions. The ad also stated that the “product was “designed to penetrate quickly through your skin”. We therefore considered those were medicinal claims which required the product be licensed as a medicine. However, we understood that the product did not have the relevant marketing authorisation from the MHRA and because of that no medicinal claims could be made for the product. Because the ad made medicinal claims for a product which was not licensed we concluded that the ad breached the Code. The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 12.1 12.1 Radio Central Copy Clearance – Radio broadcasters must ensure advertisements subject to this Section are centrally cleared.
and 12.11 12.11 Except where stated in 12.1 12.1 Radio Central Copy Clearance – Radio broadcasters must ensure advertisements subject to this Section are centrally cleared.
.1 and 12.1 12.1 Radio Central Copy Clearance – Radio broadcasters must ensure advertisements subject to this Section are centrally cleared.
.2, advertisements for weight control or slimming products or services must not be targeted directly at individuals with a Body Mass Index of 30 or above (obesity) or use testimonials or case histories referring to subjects who were or seemed to be obese before using the advertised product. (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Easylife Group Ltd t/a Positive Health to ensure that future ads did not make medicinal claims for unlicensed products.