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Ban on Bio-Strath ads claiming it can improve exam marks

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TV and radio adverts suggesting a nutritional supplement can improve a child’s exam marks by 30% have been banned, says a Daily Dispatch report. The decision by the advertising watchdog follows complaints by consumers Siebert Kruger and Louis Fourie about ads for Bio-Strath. They said the claim, in the form of a mother’s testimonial, was an “unproven and misleading statement”.

SA Natural Products, which markets Bio-Strath in SA, said the ad clearly presented its claims in the form of a mother’s testimonial. “Relying on such information cannot be regarded as deceitful, and is unlikely to be interpreted as a suggestion that using this product would yield similar improvements for all other customers,” it said.

But the watchdog is quoted in the report as saying the assumed underlying message of the advertisement was that “it worked for me, and will work for you”. It said SA Natural Products should immediately stop using the ads.

Also taken into account is the fact that the testimonial is 13 years old, says a Business Insider report. While the product formulation of Bio-Strath has remained unchanged for the past 58 years, the same cannot be said for South Africa’s education system, which has undergone dramatic changes to curriculum, teaching methodology, and reliance on additional resources such as the internet – all of which could conceivable have had dramatic impact on general academic performance, the ARB found.

The report says Bio-Strath is named for biochemist Walter Strathmeyer, and is made by feeding Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Meyen) yeast a mixture of herbs, and then fermenting it.

Daily Dispatch report

Ruling

Business Insider report

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