With all the excitement of the football, Grand Prix, tennis and general election last week, and the tiredness (and possibly hangovers) that went with it all, you might have missed some interesting ASA rulings. 

In total, eight rulings were published, and all of them were UPHELD.

One ad involved irresponsible promotion of a bottomless brunch featuring someone who was under 25, and another ad involved public urination, and I'm not taking the proverbial when I say that they were minor offences compared with some of the other ads!

Supplements - ADHD and autism

One investigation involved an ad for Aspire Nutrition. It involved a Facebook ad that promoted vitamin supplements it claimed could help children with Level 2 autism. It claimed to provide “3x more absorption, Autism focused, Packed with ingredients that help your child thrive emotionally, mentally and socially”.  The ASA found the ad to be in breach of the CAP Code and told Aspire Nutrition to ensure their future advertising did not make claims that "food could prevent, treat or cure human [conditions]."

Another involved Spectrum Awakening. Another paid-for Facebook ad for a food supplement supplier claimed: "My 5 yr old son Scout is diagnosed with receptive expressive language disorder and sensory disorder. Until I found Spectrum Awakening he could barely put a sentence together with very limited speech and words and lots of jargon. I was told by his pediatrician [sic] there is nothing we could do except for OT and speech therapy. The first supplement we tried was Power & Focus and within the first three days he started using way more words. Within a week he was speaking sentences. I'm absolutely amazed that I can't wait to order more”. Spectrum Awakening didn't respond to the ASA's investigation, which tells you what you need to know, and it meant they were referred to CAP's Compliance Team.

A third ruling involved The Drop Supplements trading as ‘Drop’. A paid-for Facebook ad for Drop Supplements, a food supplement supplier, stated: “Get ready to experience a truly unique elixir that will take your mental performance to the next level…” and “Designed to make you feel better”. Text beneath the bottle said, “FOR PEOPLE WITH STRESS ANXIETY BRAIN FOG ADHD…. Happy Mind Drops - your new secret adaptogen against stress! Prepare yourself to unleash your true potential and banish your mental barriers.”Mushroom imagery was used, and the bottle stated: “Happy Mind” on the label. The ASA concluded the ad included claims to prevent, treat or cure stress, anxiety and ADHD, and made unauthorised health claims.

Supplements - weight loss

Two further rulings involved Facebook ads that made misleading and unauthorised weight loss claims in relation to weight loss supplements. One involved Happy Koala LLC, trading as Happy Mammoth and another involved The Clean Supps, trading as Inno Supps. Both were picked up by the ASA's AI monitoring tool. 

  • The Happy Mammoth Hormone Harmony ad featured an image of a woman in gym clothing, with superimposed text “10 kg GONE (and I didn’t even try)”. The caption stated, “I’m 48, and I lost 10 kg without even trying! Day 21: Hormonal weight around the waist and hips is gone”, and “Feel the difference in 24 hours!”
  • The ad for Inno Supps featured several supplement bottles, with the text, “2024 LINEUP FOR A NEW YEAR TRANSFORMATION” and “Burn Fat 24/7 Ease Bloating […] Trim the Waist While Sleeping”. "The Female Shred Stack has helped over 55,578 females burn more fat, reduce cravings, and improve athletic performance […] The Female Shred Stack contains our top selling products to help: […] Ignite the metabolism and curb cravings […] Accelerate weight loss 24/7 […] Reduce bloating”. Additional text below the ad stated, “Beverly Hills MD Recommended To Accelerate Weight Loss […]”.

In both cases, the ASA told the advertisers to ensure that any specific health claims must be authorised on the GB (NHC) Register and must meet the associated conditions of use for those claims. Also, when advertising supplements, they must not claim people can lose weight or fat from specific parts of the body, or refer to a rate or amount of weight loss.