Snails & Beauty

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Paulinafrica (February 22, 2011, 07:47:20 AM):
Hi, After having viewed a product advertised on DStv via Glomail I have become somewhat incensed by the claims made about this particular product - namely Celltone - I made an entry on the forum at bad and one of the members suggested that I post here, please find the original post that I made at bad below:

Hello and please forgive me in advance for any foolishness on my part :) In South Africa we have a company called Glomail who sell all manner of wonderful merchandise via mail order and also have outlets at a number of retailers, now I'm sure that most of what they sell is pretty harmless and good luck to them, but one of their products recently advertised on TV caught my eye - Celltone - the claim is that this particular product contains 'snail extract gel' yuck I know.. but the claims that they make for this particular product seem a little outlandish to say the least "You will feel and enjoy smoother, more regenerated and younger looking skin" "Helps diminish the appearance of stretch marks, scarring, spots and wrinkles" etc. In any event I fired off an email to enquire as to whether they might be able to substantiate their claims with any kind of study; "Do you have any papers, scientific studies, reports to back up your claims with regards to your Celltone product?" to my utter amazement I got a reply - South African companies are not renowned for their communication skills in general - but the reply that I got was not very helpful and seemed to be dodging the issue: "Yes we do have but unfortunately it is confidential it contains proprietary information." grammar aside, surely if you've done research you'd want to share that with everybody? Or if the results didn't quite add up, you wouldn't send it to market in the first place? :? In any case, I would really appreciate some advice as to the next step or any local contacts who may assist me in pursuing this matter, we do have the Advertising Standards Authority and I am busy lodging a complaint with them at present, I have not responded to the email as yet, as I don't think that I'm going to get much further with that particular individual, but I'm prepared to give it a go. Of course this entire topic could be complete bollocks and there is in fact well established evidence that snail gel is in fact a well known cure for all manner of ailments.
Mefiante (February 22, 2011, 08:38:37 AM):
Hi and welcome!

You’re right not to have any further exchanges with Glomail. Don’t contact them again on this issue because they have given you their answer, as evasive and self-serving as it is. To try to elicit more information from them may jeopardise your case.

Lodge a consumer complaint with the ASASA. The core of your complaint should focus on misleading and unsubstantiated claims, as per the ASASA Code. Put together five or six separate phrases that they use in advertising the product and point out briefly why you think they are (potentially) misleading and/or unsubstantiated, e.g., no credible scientific evidence could be found that indicates “snail gel extract” to have beneficial effects on skin tone. The ASASA will insist that Glomail bring their evidence to light in order to assess its reliability. If Glomail refuses, the ASASA has the authority to pull the plug on their advertising, which is a major inconvenience for them since they source much of their stuff from foreign lands.

A very important part of your complaint is to specify which advertising (when flighted, on what medium) you are complaining about.

I hope the above is helpful.

Paulinafrica (February 22, 2011, 10:10:18 AM):
Thanks for your thoughtful and helpful advice Mefiante, I will certainly be following your advice as I am heading into uncharted territory here, unfortunately I have already lodged a complaint with ASASA and I fear that it may not be as well worded as per your advice, I don't know if there is any way of editing a complaint that has been lodged, but I will check with ASASA in this regard. On another note my wife thinks that I am a bit of a saddo for pursuing such things, her attitude is that if people want to waste R400 on tat like this then its up to them, I have a slightly different view which she doesn't understand and that is that we are potentially being mislead through a public medium and this must not be tolerated, and if no-one stands up we will be in a less than desirable position.
Mefiante (February 22, 2011, 11:20:38 AM):
You needn’t worry too much about your complaint. The ASASA is there to help you. It will forward your complaint to Glomail for comment. No doubt, Glomail will then respond by asking for specifics, and the ASASA will communicate this to you. At that point, you can follow my recommendations re details and content.

Personally, I think it’s good that some people (all too few in my view) are prepared to fight these fights against the onslaught of nonsense and exploitation such companies are keen on foisting on people. In the broader scheme of things, consumer complaints to the ASASA are often reported in the press, which may prompt others to look at such products a little more carefully and critically.

BTW, is the Glomail person who responded to your initial query someone called Tony Austin, Operations Director? If so, he’s a piece of evasive work, alright.

Paulinafrica (February 22, 2011, 12:42:24 PM):
BTW, is the Glomail person who responded to your initial query someone called Tony Austin, Operations Director? If so, he’s a piece of evasive work, alright.

No, I think it was someone lower in the food chain ;): Elaine du Plessis


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