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Product: Health and Beauty
Advertiser: Zanet Solarium
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 3.3, 3.10, 3.23, 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 11.1, 11.4, 11.5, 11.9, 11.37
The advertisement was accompanied by imagery of the lungs and heart which were divided by a green circle with the wording Covid-19 in the centre. The imagery was accompanied by the following text:
“FIRST IN IRELAND NORMOBARIC PRESSURE CHAMBER
Normobaria is a type of oxygen therapy that brings us many wonderful effects:
-rejuvenates the body
-slows down the aging process increases the production of stem cells
-inhibits the reproduction of anaerobic bacteria
-it stimulates the immune system a lot
-regenerates the body after operations and chemotherapy
-improves memory and intellectual abilities
-supports mental and physical condition
-accelerates the regeneration of the whole body after Covid-19
-helps in the treatment of autism
-faster regeneration of the body after training
Come and try the first Normobaric Chamber in Ireland now…”
An image of a Normobaric Chamber was provided underneath the above text. A picture of the sun featured in the centre of the image alongside the word “ZANET”. This imagery was accompanied by additional text which read:
“Come and try the first Normobaric Chamber in Ireland now…50% OFF WITH THIS LEAFLET”.
For information and sales, the advertisers offered a phone number alongside an email address: “zanetsolarium@...”
The complainant, a doctor, considered that the advertisement contained extraordinary claims regarding the benefits of Zanet Solarium's Normobaric Pressure Chamber. They believed that the claims overstated the benefits of using a Normobaric Chamber, as there was limited scientific evidence to support the claims made.
Ultimately, the complainant considered that the claims made were designed to prey on people's fears regarding health and well-being.
The advertisers said the messages contained in their advertising had been scientifically proven by studies for 30 years and the Normobaric Chamber was also used in hospitals and clinics.
They provided links to various third party, non-related websites including two medical standard hyperbaric oxygen treatment centres and a manufacturer website which they considered to substantiate the claims made in their advertising.
The Executive asked the advertisers for copies of the scientifically proven studies mentioned in their response and requested that they highlight the relevant information in the studies which they considered to substantiate the claims made in their advertising.
No further response was received from the advertisers.
The ASAI Executive noted from various web searches that Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) was the therapeutic administration of 100% oxygen at environmental pressures greater than one atmosphere, while Normobaric oxygen therapy (NBOT) was oxygen administered at one atmosphere.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
The Complaints Committee noted that links to third party websites had been provided. However, one was to a manufacturer’s website that did not contain substantiation for the claims made in the advertising. The other two websites related to hyperbaric oxygen therapy services, which was not the same therapy being offered in the advertisement. These therefore did not constitute substantiation for the claims in the advertisement.
The Committee noted in particular the -Code requirement that for health treatments, substantiation should where relevant include the results of robust and reputable trials on human subjects, of sufficient rigour, design and execution as to warrant general acceptance of the results. They noted that no such evidence related to the product advertised, to support the claims in the advertising, had been submitted. In the circumstances they concluded that the advertisement was in breach of Code sections 4.9, 4.10, 11.1, 11.5, and 11.9.
The advertising should not appear in the same format again unless relevant substantiation can be provided for the claims made.