JARO 公益社団法人 日本広告審査機構



Summaries of a JARO Recommendation or Warning issued in 2001

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Summaries of a JARO Recommendation or Warning issued in 2001

[Toothbrush: magazine/leaflet]

A consumer questioned whether the advertiser of toothbrushes can make such claims as "Our motor-driven supersonic toothbrushes reduce bleeding for Rigg's disease," "Supersonic waves work on the membrane of gums to soothe their inflammation" and "Supersonic waves destroy and blow up the germs for teeth diseases."

JARO learnt the product fell under the "miscellaneous articles" without those defined in the Ministry of Health and Welfare's Notifications Concerning the Medical Devices" based upon by the Medical Affairs Act (the MAA). So JARO warned the advertiser likely violated the MAA because it made medical claims in its advertisement of the product categorized out of a medical device.

[Hotel: newspaper]

A consumer who responded to the advertisement stating "Invitation to warm and comfortable Shirahama, Southern Chiba" and "We serve one night and two days free for 480 guests chosen by drawing," which contained a description of "16,000 yen for an accompanist" and won the free ticket. She who wished to be a lone traveler received the invitation which contained a limitation of "with one traveling companion and more only." Against the complainant, the advertiser insisted any resort hotel basically does not accept one traveler, particularly a female.

JARO recommended the advertiser should include qualifications in its ad,especially when the some limitations apply to an "invitation" plan.

[Communications device: newspaper]

A consumer bought a communications device after he saw the advertisement stating "Stock prices information in real time; you can see anytime, anywhere" and "By one-touch manipulation, you can see the high, low and closing prices, changes and volume at a glance," but found the device was a multi-purpose one and that it was not so convienient for users to handle as advertised, specially after reset.

JARO sent its recommendation to the advertiser as follows: "Since the communications device is not a stock price search-specific one, but a multi-purpose one in terms of transmission and receiving abilities and a stock market information service is one of various services under the contract with another communications company group, the ad claims gave consumers a misimpression. The advertising claims including "one-touch manipulation" should be modified to tell the fact of the device, particularly as to how it works and performs, not only putting emphasis on a specific product attribute.

[Health food: insert ad]

A consumer complained that she could not slim even a centimeter despite the ad claims as "Weight Reduction Power Up;" "You need not control eating at all-you can eat as you like: eat anything as you like;" "You need not care about sweeties and fatties;" "Refund guaranteed when you could not get slim."

Any slimming claims in the ad were found violative of the MAA and the Act Against Unjustifiable Premium Offers and Misleading Representations (the FTC Act), because they were not substantiated and misled the product was better than as it actually was. JARO sent a warning to the advertiser who was required to delete those groundless representations from the ad.

[Health food: direct mail]

A consumer alleged she received no benefit from the product advertised as "The China tea helps your stomach flatten within 4 weeks!;" "Amazing hit now in Europe and the U.S. markets because of the product performance confirmed which reduces 30% of bad cholesterol in blood." The ad claims also referred to the test conducted at Lyons University of cholesterol and fat reduction in blood caused by the product 'Toucha tea.'

JARO found those ad claims violated the MAA which prohibits advertising unauthorized medicines that contained some medical ingreidents, but were not approved by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. In other words, any food or beverage is not permitted to make claims of medical effectiveness.

[Health food: insert ad]

A consumer received the inserts of the same product by chance from different companies. She found three endorsers shown in each ad were identical, but their name and age and the contents of their testimonials were different. Additionally JARO found questionable claims scattered here and there in the ad, for example; "No. 1 health food for bust-up," "...improves adult diseases," "...builds up breast muscles, brings fat together to the breast and develops the mammary gland," etc.

JARO sent its warning to both advertisers their ad claims violated the relevant laws. The concerned advertisers similarly excused the use of endorsers and their photos in ads as due to "inadvertent mistakes" in the process of preparing ad copies. The advertisers also responded to the Warning by deleting or modifying the claims in the ad that are contrary to the MAA and the FTC Act.

[Health food: insert ad]

The beverage ad made claims as such, "Diet power concentrated in the natural beauty balance drink Bisui;" "You can get a satisfactory result within 2 weeks; 5-10kg easy reduction," "Minus 17kg in 2 months and a half," etc. The ad also included the phrases such as "Refund guaranteed;" "If the product had no effect on you, call us without hesitation: No charge for refund and returns."

A consumer stated that, though she called for refund because the advertised product was of no effect, the advertiser did not accept her request, but refunded only for the remainder of the product she used.

JARO warned the advertiser its ad likely violated the MAA, the FTC Act and the Mail Order Act.

[Insecticide: leaflet]

A consumer pointed out that the context in the P.O.P. leaflet of the insecticide was contrary to the instructions contained in the product package. The instructions warned that "Users should be careful not to splash the fluid on their skin, garment, tableware, toys, foods and the like," compared to the leaflet piled at a shop that reads "No problem to tablewares if the fluid splashed on."

In reply to the JARO recommendation, the advertiser withdrew the leaflet from the market.

[Movie program: newspaper]

The broadcaster advertised, "We are the first, leaving any other channels behind, to release the movies through our channel which you eager to see." and listed ten movies. A consumer challenged the ad claim because all but one movie had been already released thru other channels.

The advertiser contended it excluded the pay-per-view channels from consideration because of the difference of the audience's viewing system. But JARO required the advertiser to add such qualifications to the advertisement so to avoid the superlative claims to be misled.

[Exercise device: magazine]

A consumer complained the product was useless despite the ad claims, among others, "Anyone can get 5-10cm taller then and there" and "Only 15 minite-lying a day makes you slim and tall with long legs."

JARO sent the advertiser a warning as below: "These ad claims suggest the medical effectiveness permitted to make only for a medical device. Their assertive representations without any support likely violated the MAA and the FTC Act. The advertiser must delete any ad claims in conflict with the laws."