Fatgirlslim and the ASA

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.

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  • Wow, that’s amazing. It’s good to know the ASA take this seriously and have done something about it, look forward to reading the outcome x

  • I have more of a problem with how Harrods advertised it, than with Bliss. (I don’t take offence to the name – it’s a pun referring to Fatboy Slim innit – but I do think all skincare products should be clear and not misleading.)
    The gym in a jar thing is the worst part of this, in my view, and that doesn’t appear to be echoed on the Bliss packaging/site.

    • It might be a pun but it he DJs and makes music. He doesnt market himself as an appearance changer. And yes, I hvae an issue with Harrods too but that is a tweet and not something the ASA can act upon. Hopefully now the wording has been changed, and will be across all relevant products, Harrods etc wont be doing it again

  • GO YOU! LOVE that! And surely there IS a problem with the title – play on words or not – given that it doesn’t actually DO what it says on the packet?! It’s about smoothing/toning SKIN, not losing weight 😉 x

    • Know what you mean Katy, but if I bought a product that smoothed and toned my skin, I’d do it to give the appearance of looking slimmer (god knows I need it!!) so that’s why I don’t have a problem with the name of the product. Also: it’s funny. I love brands that have a real personality and don’t pussyfoot around us like we’re kids.

      Following on from my comment above ^^^ I think it’s important for skincare companies to be honest and transparent, and I also think it’s important to differentiate between what Bliss say about their products and what Harrods said.

      [In the interest of disclosure, I buy Bliss products and love them 😉 ]

      • But Alison Bliss do say it. Hence my complaint. It was upheld on the basis that Bliss stated on their website that their products in that range could “slenderize in your sleep”. They can’t. Full stop. This isnt about what Harrods said in a Tweet. It’s about what a company is saying in marketing their own product.

        • Yes that phrase is definitely on dodgy ground. That’s the only thing from Bliss that I think is iffy in all of this – the rest doesn’t bother me. But the world would be boring if we all agreed eh T? 😉

  • I am actually horrified that they could trade mark the title, since Ruth Watson used the title Fat Girl Slim for her (excellent) book of slimming recipes back in 2003.

    Oh, and Amazon is still selling the BlissSpa version, with full slimming claims 🙁

  • Go you! That is fab, I remember your original post on the topic, and was completely in agreement. I still wish it did work a bit though *eats another biscuit and stares mournfully at tummy which is more of a barrel than a six pack* 😉

  • Well done my friend. I had no idea that you could take this kind of stuff to the ASA yourself, so consider this to be a triumph in more ways than one.

  • Go you! And hurrah for the ASA too. Man, I wish there was a cream that DID give you a six-pack though. I could finally give up Insanity. *sighs*

  • Whoop whoop to the Barrow! Victory!

    I’ve complained to the ASA before too, they are very professional and keep you up-to-date of what’s happening.

  • A gym in a jar, oh I remember this, and how grumpy it made me feel at the time. I take jut as much offence at the name, totally not my bag. I’ve no problem with toning products, it’s the ludicrous claims that annoy me. Well done Tanya 🙂

  • Fantastic achievement. Well done you for following up on something you believed was wrong and credit to the Advertising Standards Agency for looking into it. No wonder you are proud, I would be too.

  • I am enormously proud of you for seeing this through Lady T. I am very glad that the ASA listened to you and acted accordingly.

  • Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss go T, well done you, and loving the work by the ASA! Unfortunately there will still be some poor deluded people who will buy into such claims, but you did your bit lovely 🙂 x

  • Brillant work lady! Shows that is is always worth following up on these things. Hurrah for you! x

  • Good work T, you should be proud, you made a difference.

    It is outrageous. So – If it doesn’t work – why would anyone buy it?

    What I find equally amazing is that this shit costs nearly £170 a kilo.

  • This is brilliant. The products caused a bit of debate on our spa marketing team at the time as we couldn’t think who would buy them.

    Such a result, go you 🙂

  • Oh well done you! That product and their attitude made me and so many other people so angry! Glad someone did something and they will be having to make changes! Thank you!!