independent

Saturday 17 November 2018

Gym ad complaint upheld

Anna Hayes

A complaint against an advertisement by a local health and fitness company, was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI).

The ASAI recently released a list of breaches of their code, with Jump Fitness Wexford featuring on the grounds of running a misleading advertisement on a social media account.

According to the ASAI report, the Facebook post featured a picture of a woman on a trampoline. The advertisers listed some of the health benefits relating to the activity, one of which was 'help in preventing and eliminating cancer'. A complaint was lodged with the ASAI, with the person querying if it was acceptable to make such a statement in a marketing communication.

In response, the advertisers said the information had been copied and pasted from someone else's Facebook account and the claim subject to the complaint should not have been there. They acknowledged that they had failed to pick up on finer written content and had subsequently removed the reference from the post.

The report stated: 'They said, however, that definitely positive thinking, exercising and happiness keeps cancer away'.

The complaints committee welcomed the withdrawal of the advertisement, noting that their Code contained specific rules in relation to substantiation requirements for health claims, and in relation to advertising advice for conditions that medical supervision should be sought for. In the absence of substantiation or evidence of involvement of a qualified health professional, they considered the advertiser's original reference to have breached two sections of the code.

As the post had already been removed, no further action was necessary.

Commenting on the latest rulings, Orla Twomey, Chief Executive of the ASAI, said: 'The ASAI is committed to protecting consumers in relation to advertising - across all mediums - and our approach is to work with all advertisers, rather than against them, to ultimately ensure that all marketing communications are legal, truthful, decent and honest.'

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