A Groupon deal for weight management tablets stated:
“Matrix T5 Weight Management Tablets: One-Month Supply €17.99, Free Delivery (73% Off)
One, two or four month supply;
60 tablets per month;
Take two, daily;
Capsules aim to regulate the mobilisation of energy molecules;
Ingredients include caffeine, green tea and guarana.
To be taken twice a day, these Matrix T5 tablets contain ingredients synonymous with weight management such as green tea, caffeine and guarana. Available in one, two or four-month supplies, the tablets are recommended to be taken at least four hours apart with the aim of mobilising fatty acids and increasing energy. “
The complainant considered the advertisement misleading as the ingredients listed in the advertisement did not have a weight loss claim authorisation from the European Food Safety Authority.
The ASAI also requested substantiation for the association of the product with weight loss claims.
The advertisers said that all their advertisement had stated was a fact, that green tea, caffeine and guarana were synonymous with weight management meaning that they were closely associated with weight management. They stated that a simple search on Google on each of the ingredients would prove that a claim of an association was correct. They also stated that they did not claim that the ingredients had any impact on weight loss and therefore did not breach the ASAI Code sections referred to, nor did it require authorisation from the EFSA.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response, together with the advertisers’ further comments in the matter. The Committee did not comment on any requirement for EFSA approval but considered that consumers would regard the advertisement as a claim that the product contributed to weight loss. The Committee noted the advertisers’ suggestion that the Secretariat search on Google to substantiate the claims made, however, the Code provides that advertisers should hold documentary evidence in advance of any claims made and provide such evidence to the Authority. As the advertisers had not provided such evidence the Committee considered the advertising was in breach of Section 2.9 of the Code.
The Complaints Committee told the advertiser to remove the claim until they held and provided evidence to substantiate such claims.