The advertising watchdog has grabbed a natural remedy firm by the short and curlies after it failed to back up claims made in an online ad that it could provide a cure for herpes.
The ad, perfectly targeted on Date Positive – a website for people with HIV, herpes and STIs – was designed to promote an e-book which provided information about how to get rid of herpes naturally.
However, the issue appears to have inflamed one viewer who rifled off a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority, challenging whether the claim “get rid of herpes” was misleading and could be substantiated.
In response to the ASA’s inquiries, Get Rid of Herpes (trading as getridofherpes.net) said the ad had been placed by an affiliate, which was subsequently revealed to be Magnetic Global Management (MGM).
MGM said it understood the website to which the ad linked included disclaimers, as well as testimonials for the product and money-back guarantees, but confirmed it was no longer appearing on the dating website.
Unbowed, the ASA considered the claim “get rid of herpes” would be understood by consumers who viewed it as an efficacy claim that the advertised product could cure herpes.
It stated: “We noted we had not seen any evidence to substantiate that the product on offer could cure the virus, or treat its symptoms. We therefore concluded the advertising claim was misleading and in breach of the code.”
Banning the ad from appearing again, the watchdog warned Get Rid of Herpes and MGM to ensure they held substantiation to support efficacy claims in future.
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