Posts on television personality Jodie Marsh’s Instagram account have been banned for including unauthorised health claims about food supplements and not being clearly marked as ads.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned seven posts for JST Nutrition, a supplements firm owned by Marsh, seen in December 2020 and January this year.
They advertised products labelled “tonex”, “neptox”, and “hebex”, with captions stating: “These are the three things I personally take every day … Tonex I take for burning fat … Hebex I take for my skin, hair and nails …” and: “Do you suffer with IBS or bloating?? Try Neptox!! …”
Other posts read: “People always say I don’t look 42. I personally think it’s down to good genes and Hebex – Hebex is my amazing collagen tablet. I take it for skin, hair and nails,” and: “I take Hebex every day. It’s a collagen tablet … I believe it gives me flawless skin. It also makes my hair and nails grow quicker.”
The last post read: “Everyone is always asking how my skin is so good. I believe it’s because I take Hebex every day. It’s a collagen that your body can actually process … and it also helps your hair and nails to grow quicker!! … I also take Tonex every day which is a fat burner … And I also take Neptox every day as I bloat a lot when I eat and I believe it helps stop this. People with IBS – try it!!!”
A complainant challenged whether the health claims complied with advertising regulations while the ASA investigated if the ads were clearly marked as such.
JST Nutrition said they believed the claims in the ads complied with the relevant regulations but added that they would check them to ensure compliance in the future.
Marsh acknowledged receipt of the complaint but did not provide a response.
The ASA said it was concerned by Marsh’s lack of substantive response and apparent disregard for the advertising code.
It said it had not seen any evidence that the health claims in the posts were authorised by either the EU Register or the GB register, or that JST Nutrition’s products met the conditions of use associated with any authorised claims.
The ASA said it understood that Marsh owned JST Nutrition, and there was therefore a commercial relationship between them, but noted that the posts did not feature a label such as “#ad” identifying them to consumers.
The ASA said: “The ads must not appear again in the form complained about. We told JST Nutrition and Jodie Marsh to ensure that any specific health claims made in their future advertising were authorised on the GB Register and met the associated conditions of use, and to ensure that their future ads did not state or imply that their food supplements could prevent, treat or cure human disease.
“We also told them to ensure that their future ads were obviously identifiable as marketing communications, and that identifiers such as #ad should be clearly and prominently displayed.”