Ad description

An ad, displayed on a dating website for people with HIV, Herpes and STIs, stated "GET RID OF HERPES  NATURAL SAFE EFFECTIVE  READ MORE ...".


The complainant challenged whether the claim "GET RID OF HERPES" was misleading and could be substantiated.


Get Rid of Herpes t/a said the ad had been placed by an affiliate but they could not identify which one. They did not respond on the substance of the complaint.

Magnetic Global Management Ltd, the affiliate responsible for the ad, said the product referred to in the ad was an e-book which provided information about how to get rid of herpes naturally. They understood the website to which the ad linked included disclaimers, as well as testimonials for the product and money-back guarantees, but they confirmed that, to ensure people would not be misled into following the link, the ad was no longer appearing on the dating website.



The ASA considered the claim "GET RID OF HERPES" would be understood by consumers who viewed it as an efficacy claim that the advertised product could cure herpes. We noted we had not seen any evidence to substantiate that the product on offer could cure the virus, or treat its symptoms. We therefore concluded the advertising claim was misleading and 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) and  12.1 12.1 Objective claims must be backed by evidence, if relevant consisting of trials conducted on people. Substantiation will be assessed on the basis of the available scientific knowledge.
Medicinal or medical claims and indications may be made for a medicinal product that is licensed by the MHRA, VMD or under the auspices of the EMA, or for a CE-marked medical device. A medicinal claim is a claim that a product or its constituent(s) can be used with a view to making a medical diagnosis or can treat or prevent disease, including an injury, ailment or adverse condition, whether of body or mind, in human beings.
Secondary medicinal claims made for cosmetic products as defined in the appropriate European legislation must be backed by evidence. These are limited to any preventative action of the product and may not include claims to treat disease.
 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).


The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Get Rid of Herpes and Magnetic Global Management Ltd to ensure they held substantiation to support efficacy claims in future.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

12.1     3.1     3.7    

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