These reports are case summaries of complaints which appeared to raise issues of substance in relation to the interpretation of the ITC Advertising Standards Code. Summary statistics of non-substantive complaints can be found in the full reports which are obtainable from the ITC.
Simply Health & Fitness
Complaint from: Staff monitoring
Simply Health & Fitness broadcast an advertisement for video tapes of an exercise plan called Tae Bo 2.
The advertisement created an overriding impression that Tae Bo 2 would work for everyone and that everyone who used it would achieve the advertised results. Although various customer testimonials were used to endorse the product, the infomercial contained no explanation that the efficacy of Tae Bo 2 could vary from individual to individual.
The advertisement contained a testimonial from Dr. Kirk Gair recommending the product.
The Advertising Standards Code states that:
8.1.2 Impressions of professional advice and support
The following are not acceptable in advertisements for products or treatments within the remit of Section 8:
(a) presentations of doctors, dentists, veterinary surgeons, pharmaceutical chemists, nurses, midwives etc, which give the impression of professional advice or recommendations.
Simply Television accepted that the inclusion of the testimonial from Dr. Kirk Gair breached the Code and apologised to the ITC for broadcasting it. Simply Television explained that the advertisement was broadcast in error and they removed it from their schedules of their own accord. It was removed in the period between ITC staff monitoring identifying the advertisement and bringing the issue to the attention of the broadcaster.
The ITC judged that the advertisement was misleading because it created an impression that Tae Bo 2 worked for everyone and that everyone who used it would achieve the advertised results.
It required the broadcaster to withdraw this and any other version of the advertisement that similarly breached the Code.
Breach of ITC Code Rules 8.1.2 (a) and 5.1.