The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld seven complaints against a leaflet produced by the Water Ionizer Company, that said the water’s antioxidant properties could, “minimise the accumulation of cancerous or damaged cells by decreasing the amount of free radicals in the body".
Benefits to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), osteoporosis, arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, blood pressure, allergies, hayfever, Athlete’s Foot, degenerative diseases and gout were also referenced in the ad.
The ASA ruled additional evidence submitted by the company was not robust enough to back the claims; deemed testimonials as invalidated claims; and said the ads could, “discourage patients from seeking essential medical advice”.
Speaking to NutraIngredients this morning, managing director of Stationbridge Ltd, which owns the Water Ionizer Company, Lewis Montague, said the ruling was not unexpected after dialogue it had over the past months with the ASA.
“We are going to appeal the ruling,” he said, adding his company also planned to launch further campaigns to test the system.
“We are going to publish more ads that we are sure the ASA won’t like but this time, with the backing of new partners, we will take the ruling to the courts.”
The leaflet included numerous testimonials and claims such as: “The acidic water is proven to destroy over 99% of bacteria ... Infections, burns, or any fungal disease can be reduced ..."
Stationbridge sent papers that looked at the effects of electrolysed water on hand washing, disinfection of medical apparatus, dentistry, the livestock industry, the health benefits of drinking electrolysed water, spraying of crops and the preparation of food.
The ASA deemed this data not specific to the claims in the leaflet, or that some of the studies lacked detail about methods and results, others were not blinded or did not use human subjects.
It concluded: “We told the Water Ionizer Company not to make efficacy or health benefit claims for acidic and alkaline electrolysed water; to remove the testimonials and not to refer to the serious medical conditions mentioned in the ad, conditions for which medical supervision should be sought.”