Patrick Holford ads not so smart
The company advertising Patrick Holford's "Smart Kids Brain Boost" must stop making claims that its use can result in improved mental or school performance until they can be substantiated, an Advertising Standards Authority ruling released yesterday said.
The authority also found that the product's name was misleading.
"[We are] satisfied that the name 'Smart Kids Brain Boost' creates an expectation that this product will boost mental performance and/or abilities in children," the authority said.
"Clearly, such an implied claim is capable of objective verification. However, as the respondent's substantiation is not found adequate at this time, there is nothing before [us] to show that the name is justified and reasonable."
Several complaints were made to the authority about the ads.
One complainant said there was no evidence to support claims made on Holford's website, and the name of the product was misleading.
Another said there was no evidence that the product would assist in improving scholastic or mental performance.
The distributor of the product, More to Life, submitted verification by Professor Frederick Veldman and said that, on the recommendation of Veldman, it would change the wording "top of class" to "... at the top of their own capacity/ability".
It would also remove its claim in relation to amino acids and B-group vitamins, in accordance with Veldman's confirmation that the claims were not directly supported by research findings. The reference to phospholipids, however, was in accordance with research and was verified by Veldman.
The authority said the research literature did not relate to the company's product on the market.
"The directorate cannot, at this time, accept the substantiation submitted by the respondent."
More to Life MD Peter Brierley said: "We have not formally been informed of the Advertising Standards Authority ruling. As soon as we have, we will make a decision."