The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) kyboshed statements such as "Slenderiix ... alleviates hunger as it flushes fats and toxins from our systems" and "Xceler8 helps ensure maximum effectiveness when used with Slenderiix Drops ... " for what it said are unlicensed homeopathic products.
“There is a lot of advertising puffery but underlying that there needs to be substantiation,” said Matt Wilson at the ASA.
“Slenderiix has gone too far in this instance and the terminology does not reflect the product virtues.”
Slenderiix disputed the claims, explaining it had conducted a randomised, blind, placebo-controlled study, “exploring the relationship of an exclusive homeopathic weight loss tincture combined with therapeutic nutrition in relation to reversal of visceral adipose fat tissue stores and serum inflammatory markers.”
But the study group was deemed insufficiently representative with scant details about the group selection process and the methodology flawed with too many ambiguous variables.
The ASA was concerned that the lack of information regarding the group dynamics (the size and number of participants) could affect the authenticity of the results.
The 19 participants were chosen on the “basis of commitment to completing the 12 week course” however once split into groups details were vague and insufficient.
Individuals were asked to stick to a diet of 1250 calories per day and participate in an exercise programme, which they were allowed to select themselves
In addition, advertising suggested, “making fibrous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts part of your lunch and dinner meals” to ensure faster weight loss.
Conclusions not convincing
The ruling maintained that both of these variables made it difficult to draw convincing conclusions about the effects of Slenderiix and Xceler8 since any weight loss achieved could be the result of reduced calorific intake or exercise.
“In light of the possible limitations of the methodology used, we considered that the study was unlikely to be sufficiently robust to support any weight loss claims,” it said.
The fact that the homeopathic medicinal products were not registered with the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) was also cause for concern.
The ASA added that the information on marketing communications should reflect those on product labels.
Slenderiix was asked to remove the spurious claims from its website and banned from using medicinal claims on these products.