I had a conversation with a friend the other day…
You may recall a couple of months ago I got quite irate about a Tweet that appeared on my timeline from Harrods, relating to a product they claimed it was “a gym in a jar”. The product was made by a company called Blissworld Spa and their range of beauty products called “Fat Girl Slim” that they advertised were able to give you a sixpack / “slenderize”, generally make you look thinner.
I took exception to that. To the name of Fat Girl Slim and also to their claim that these products could aid weight loss or substitute fitness, or indeed be “a gym in a jar”.
How can a product claim to give you a six pack? It can’t. The gym does that, and healthy eating. You can’t get a six pack from a can.
So I having seen these products and the tweet, I did what I do. I blogged about it: Ranty Friday — FatGirl and then as people commented on the post, and on Facebook, and tweeted me to say they thought these claims were outrageous too, I did something else about it.
I complained to the Advertising Standards Agency. It is easy to do online and takes no more than 20 minutes to give them all the information, screenshots from websites etc, and thought no more of it. Giving them all the info as to why I was making the complaint. I didn’t think anything would come of it to be honest. I thought a company such as Blissworld would have some evidence of their claims and would be able to back up the weight loss claims they were making on their website.
I was wrong. The ASA did take my complaint seriously (to be fair, they take every complaint seriously and if they believe it warrants a full investigation, they will conduct one).
As they felt mine did.
For the past couple of months I have been kept up to date by email of an investigation into my claim. It was taken seriously, and it has been investigated. And guess what?
There is no evidence.
The ASA have upheld my complaint.
Blissworld are now being asked to make clear that these are not weight loss products. The name of the product is trademarked so there is not much we can do about that (as much as I would like to as I do think it is still misleading) but the ASA have said there is something that can done about the wording of claims on their website.
The email I received yesterday says that it is confidential in the footer so as much as I would love to copy and paste it here I won’t. However there will be a report on the ASA website next week into the claim and the outcome. And in the meantime there are changes being made to the website.
That * might be one of my proudest achievements.