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.
Complaint from: Staff monitoring
Best Direct broadcast an advertisement for a Zone Trainer, a resistance device designed to tone specific areas of the body.
Opening superimposed text claimed that weight loss was achieved when using the device in conjunction with a calorie-controlled diet. Later on, a testimonee was shown with a caption saying he had lost 20lbs in six weeks.
The ITC was concerned that the amount of weight lost in the time stated did not comply with rule 8.4.3 of its Advertising Standards Code, which requires that it 'must be compatible with accepted good medical and dietary practice', and also that, at the point at which it was broadcast, the claim did not make it clear that the weight loss was achieved by using the device in conjunction with a calorie-controlled diet.
Best Direct said that the ITC's Advertising Standards Code did not state what an acceptable rate of weight loss would be, and that the rate they had quoted was based on fact.
The ITC's Advertising Standards Code did not itself set an acceptable rate of weight loss, but expected its licensees to ensure that any rate they quoted was in line with medical advice at the time. This is currently 1-2lbs per week, as quoted previously in Bulletin 12 of the ITC's Television Advertising Complaints Report.
Best Direct considered that the advertisement had made it sufficiently clear at the beginning that weight loss achieved with the device was in conjunction with a calorie-controlled diet. There was a 20-minute gap, however, between that caption and the reference to the weight the testimonee had lost, during which time the advertisement had described only the toning capabilities of the product. The advertisement had been approved by the BACC, who admitted that it had failed to spot the second caption.
The ITC judged that the advertisement had given a misleading impression of the capabilities of the product and had breached its Code on two points.
Breach of code rules 8.4.3 and 5.1