ASA gives Hangcure a headache over implied disease claims

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

© Izusek / Getty Images
© Izusek / Getty Images

Related tags Regulation Advertising

The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has warned UK supplement brand Hangcure Ltd that it must not claim that its product can prevent, treat or cure disease through product name or advertising.

The advert which caught the ASA's attention was a TikTok post by @mancavebartender at the end 2023, featuring a bartender mixing a drink. He pulled out two sachets of Hangcure Rebound and took two pills as on screen text read: “NO NEED FOR CRAZY REMEDIES ANYMORE”.

The next caption read: “Making The Ultimate Hangover cure cocktail… take 2 before and 2 after drinking #hangcure #hangcurerebound #ultimatehangovercure #tiktokshop #hangover #hangoverremedies”.

The UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (CAP Code) prohibits claims that state or imply a food or drink could prevent, treat or cure human disease. This also applies to product or brand names.

In this case, the ASA considered that a hangover and its associated symptoms, such as nausea, dehydration, headache, vomiting and stomach upset, were adverse medical conditions, and as such, claims which stated or implied that a food or drink could prevent, treat or cure a hangover were prohibited under this rule.

Just an acronym

Hangcure Ltd, which sells products including electrolyte drink mixes, capsules and detox teas, responded to the ASA stating that it is committed to being compliant with advertising regulation and had taken corrective action.

The company contacted the creator of the video and confirmed that the video was removed. It also removed the product from affiliate marketing on TikTok Shop because it ws unable to control the claims made by affiliates, to ensure that similar incidents did not happen in future.

Hangcure said that it understood that it could not claim to cure or treat hangovers, explaining that this was an affiliate post on TikTok and not posted on the company's own page—adding that it was unaware of the post until notified of the complaint.

Regarding the name Hangcure, they said that this was a brand name, not a product name, and was derived from the acronyms of the company’s values: honesty, authenticity, non-stop improvement, growth, community, understanding, reliability and ethical.

The Rebound capsules contain the active ingredients N Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), rosemary leaf extract, magnesium citrate and B vitamins.

The ASA further assessed the brand and product name and considered that the word Hangcure would be understood by consumers to be a shorthand for "hangover cure” and would therefore be understood as a claim. It confirmed the product and brand names were therefore a claim to prevent, treat or cure hangovers, which is prohibited by the Code.

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