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Product: Health & Beauty
Advertiser: Total Mind Dynamics (Tom Ryan)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 3.10, 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 11.10, 11.12
The advertisement featured a silhouette of a person stamping on a cigarette, this image replaced the letter I in the word ‘Quit’. The advertisement referred to the following:
“Quit Smoking Permanently in just one session!
It’s easy, effortless and permanent with HYPNOSIS & NLP
All that is required is a genuine desire to quit.
"I have a 96% success rate, so I can guarantee my work by offering a free back up service to the few who need it. So you can now say goodbye to smoking for good."
TOM RYAN ACHT, TNLP
Phone … now to book your appointment
Total minds dynamics it’s all in the mind.”
All you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the experience. One hour later you will be a non-smoker. This is guaranteed for life.”
The complainant said for health reasons he had a genuine interest in giving up smoking. He booked the hour long session, as referenced in the advertising, and went along for his appointment. He said he paid €300 for the session which lasted approximately 25 minutes, not an hour as specified. He was informed at the end of the session that he was now smoke free and would have no further cravings to smoke. He was also provided with a written guarantee that he would be provided with a free hour long back up session should it be required.
Two days after meeting with the advertiser, the complainant said he experienced cravings to smoke, he gave into his cravings and started smoking again. He tried on many occasions to contact the advertiser to avail of his follow up session and the advertiser failed to revert to him. On speaking to the woman he booked the session with, he asked for a refund of his money, his request was declined. He was informed that the advertiser would offer him his free follow up session in a hotel where he was holding his clinic. On ringing the hotel, the complainant was informed, however, that there was no clinic being held by the advertiser on the day in question. The complainant considered that he had been misled by the advertising in question.
The advertiser responded but did not want to comment on the complaint itself.
The Executive provided the advertiser with the opportunity once again to respond. No further correspondence was received from the advertiser in the matter.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They expressed their concern that the advertisers had failed to provide an adequate response or relevant substantiation for the claims made in their advertising (including the results of robust and reputable trials on human subjects). They reminded them that there is an onus on advertisers to ensure that their advertising is in conformity with the Code.
In the absence of a response from the advertisers the Committee concluded that the advertising was in breach of Sections 3.10, 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 11.10 and 11.12 of the Code.
The advertisement should not run in its current form again and a copy of the Adjudication should be provided to the Media.