Dear Simon,So I think I've hit a dead end with the ASA. Next stop Trading Standards. The thing is, Trading Standards doesn't really do anything unless a lot of people complain.
Thank you for your e-mail, I’m sorry for the delay responding to you. As I explained, our remit does not cover material on advertisers own websites where it does not refer to a sales promotion. While I appreciate your concern about these claims and the manner in which Boots have brought their promotion into line with the CAP Code, the ASA (at this time) is not entitled to comment on claims on companies’ own websites (outside of promotions), such as the Ladycare menopause relief magnet you mention.
Leaflets available to download on advertisers websites, when they are also distributed to the public as hard-copy (the contents of which therefore fall within the ASA’s remit) are generally also subject to any ASA Council adjudication on the hard-copy. However, this only applies where the leaflet itself is available to download in identical form to that which is distributed as hard-copy material.
Our main aim in cases such as the original investigation into the objections you raised about numerous claims on Boots’ websites is to ensure claims which fall within our remit are amended or removed. In this instance, Boots agreed to ensure that any claims subject to the CAP Code would in future conform, without a formal adjudication from the ASA Council being necessary and there do not appear to be grounds to challenge this decision, nor material within space governed by our remit which appear to give us grounds to investigate further.
However, claims made on companies own websites is sometimes subject to specific legislation which Consumer Direct (0845 4040506) or the MHRA (020 7084 2000, www.mhra.org.uk) might be able to advise further.
Again, I realise this will disappoint, but thank you for taking the time and trouble to contact us with your concerns.
- Choose one product to complain about. You might like to complain about the Fanny Magnet that apparently "helps to reduce or completely eliminate the symptoms of menopause". Or maybe about the BioFirm Danish Detox Plan, which they claim "naturally supports the body’s own internal processes of elimination and detoxification." Or maybe you're really angry that they sell "Boots Teething Pain Relief" which claims, in the title, that it is for teething pain relief yet can't possibly work as it's homeopathic.
- Go the Consumer Direct Complaints Form.
- Fill it out. I've helped with that below by making it easy to copy & paste some basic info that will be relevant to all complaints.
- Submit the form.
- Put a comment below so I can see who did what.