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Product: Health & Beauty
Advertiser: Andrew Beatty Fitness
Medium: Internet (Company Website)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 4.17, 12.2
Advertising for a 6 week challenge on the advertisers’ own website stated:
A banner across the page stated:
“THIS IS THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER!!!***”
“FREE Limerick 6 Week Challenge
Register now for free
Only 9 spots left of 40
1,463+ success stories and counting…will you be next?
Your spot will be reserved for..”
A countdown clock showing the number of hours, minutes and seconds left to avail of the offer was below the text.
Various ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs were featured together with the person’s weight loss details.
A “Register Now” button was placed under the images.
“Check out how we have systematized The Transformation Process
The Three Pillars
New workouts everyday. You will be WITH A TRAINER 3 days per week taken through the most cutting edge workouts available to help you melt fat, tone up and see results fast AND – you will be able to track your own progress which will help you continue to improve, avoid plateaus and keep seeing results far past your 6 weeks.
We will sit down with you and make you your own custom meal plan. Exactly what you need given your body schedule and food preferences so it is not only doable but enjoyable. We adjust every week as needed to make sure you see results week-in, week-out.
We will sit down with you and map out your exact grocery list so you know what to buy at the grocery store and leave nothing to guesswork. Average person spends €45/week on groceries for 21 meals at Walmart or Trader Joe’s. Our process will cut down on your time in the grocery store with most people getting in and out in under 15mins.
Direct Line of Contact
Not only will you have us when you are in the gym working out but you will also be able to contact your personal accountability coach whenever you need help, tips, advice or just someone to give you some extra encouragement. We are here to help you succeed. They will also check-in weekly to congratulate you on your success and keep you on track.
We are real people opening up our newest location in Limerick and want to get our names out in the community. Please help us as we help you.
Claim your spot by clicking the button below:
REGISTER NOW FOR FREE
Your spot will be reserved for…”
The countdown clock again was featured below the above text.
“PS – If you’re anything like us, you just skipped to the end anyways. So here’s the scoop - we want to train you for free as long as you’re willing to put some skin in the game and actually show up and do you part. Our intention is to get you some amazing results and give you a great experience, so much so, that we hope you stay afterwards. But you’re not obligated to by any stretch (spoiler**most people stay because they love our facility so much – you’ve been warned)”
The complainant considered that the advertisers had copied the content of his advertising from another source, including the ‘before’ and ‘after’ images of clients. The complainant considered that the portrayal of the images implied that the advertisers had trained the people featured and was responsible for the results they had achieved. The complainant considered the advertising to be misleading.
The advertisers responded stated that they worked with another company who licence their templates to gym owners and that was the reason for the similarity in webpages. In regards to the customers featured, they stated that the internet allowed them to work with clients from all over the world and that they were happy to provide thousands of others testimonials if required. Finally they said that due to Facebook regulations they have removed the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs from their landing page.
In regards to the use of testimonials, the Executive pointed out that testimonials do not constitute substantiation under the Code. They also pointed out that the implication from featuring the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs was that these customers had achieved their results through participation in the advertisers’ programme. The advertisers were asked to provide substantiation in regards to the portrayal of the ‘before’ and ‘after’ images as customers of their gym.
In response the advertisers stated that all testimonials they used went through the nutrition programme. They said that they use a licensed nutrition programme approved by a Doctor (named) and a gym provider company.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the advertisers had purchased a licensed template for his gym which included ‘before’ and ‘after’ images of customers who had used the programme. The Committee noted the Code requirements in relation to substantiation (4.9 and 4.10) and that that testimonials do not constitute substantiation (4.17).
The Complaints Committee noted that substantiation had not been provided to show that the featured customers had achieved their results through working with the advertisers. In the circumstances, they considered that the advertising was in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10 and 4.17 of the Code.
The advertising must not reappear in its current form.
The Complaints Committee told the advertisers not to feature testimonials from clients of other organisations unless it was clear to consumers the basis on which the testimonials were being used and that they were in a position to show, by way of evidence, that the results achieved by their clients were the same.