Alternative therapy ads banned

LIAM HYSLOP
Last updated 13:13 23/12/2013

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Two alternative therapy websites made unsubstantiated claims about treatments, including that they could cure cancer, the Advertising Standards Authority's complaints board says.

Give Me Life and Magnetic Magnets were found by the board to have misleading advertisements as no evidence could be found to support their claims.

Give Me Life had two complaints upheld against its alternative cancer treatments known as "The Breuss Cancer Juice" and "Essaic Tea Treatment".

Both products were reported on the website as being able to "exert a deathblow on cancer".

The juice would "heal chronic and degenerative illnesses", while the tea would "attack cancer from all angles to destroy the tumour tissue".

The board said these were strong claims that required robust substantiation which Give Me Life had not provided.

Give Me Life called into question whether it was an advertiser as it did not sell the products.

"Our websites are merely online versions of books which are readily available in store.

"When it comes to the treatments we have not altered or added anything in any way, we are only referencing what Breuss and Caisse [author of Essaic Tea Treatment] said/wrote/published.

"All we do is summarise a book, similar to a university student writing an essay, relaying information already published."

The board disagreed and said the website was a strong endorsement for the treatments and, given the promotional aspect of the website, it constituted an advertisement.

It also said the advertisements did not observe a high standard of social responsibility required for advertisements of this type and ordered both to be removed.

It was a similar situation for Magnetic Magnets.

It said its ankle and wrist braces had the ability to relieve tension and purify blood.

This was backed by information provided by the supplier. The healing properties were more to do with tourmaline in the braces than the magnets, Magnetic Magnets said.

It said the tourmaline was used as a form of heat therapy and provided information from sources other than the supplier to support this.

The board said Magnetic Magnets did provide some substantiation of its claim but it was insufficient to support the strength of the claims made.

"The substantiation provided lacked methodology for the studies conducted."

Magnetic Magnets provided test reports from its Chinese supplier, but these were all written in Mandarin and deemed unacceptable by the board to support the level of the claims made in the advertisement.

The board determined the advertisement was likely to mislead consumers as the claims made in the advertisement were not able to be sufficiently substantiated.

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The advertisement was ordered to be removed.

- Fairfax Media

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