ASA announces ruling on Hangcure Ltd's affiliate advertising

Published: 15-May-2024

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that Hangcure's affiliate advertisement on TikTok broke code, as it insinuated that its product could prevent, treat or cure disease incorrectly

The Advertising Standards Authority, a global regulatory agent working to stop the spread of misinformation through advertisements, has upheld a case against Hangcure, a supplements company claiming to cure hangovers with its sachets.

The case stemmed from TikTok posted on the ManCave Bartender account @mancavebartender, which called its product 'the ultimate hangover cure' and featured many hashtags such as #hangoverremedies that could be seen as false advertisement.


The issue

The complainant challenged whether the stated and implied claims in the ad — including the product name — suggest that the product could prevent, treat of cure disease, which is prohibited by ASA's code.

In response to the claim, Hangcure Ltd stated they were committed to complying with advertising regulation, and that corrective action would be taken. The video was removed from social media and also from affiliate marketing on TikTok's shop segment, because they were unable to control the claims made by affiliates.

The company stated it was unaware of the post until the complaint was made, since it was posted by an affiliate.


The solution

The Code prohibited claims that stated or implied a food or drink could prevent, treat or cure human disease. This also applied to product or brand names that included stated or implied claims that the food or drink product could prevent, treat or cure human disease. The ASA considered that a hangover and the symptoms associated with a hangover, such as nausea, dehydration, headache, vomiting and stomach upset, were adverse medical conditions, and as such, claims which stated or implied that a food or drink could prevent, treat or cure a hangover were prohibited under this rule.

Because the ad included claims that a food supplement could prevent, treat or cure a human disease, we concluded it breached the Code. The ad also breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 15.6 and 15.6.2 (Food, food supplements and associated health or nutrition claims).

The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Hangcure Ltd not to make claims, which stated or implied a food or drink product could prevent, treat or cure hangovers, including in product and brand names.

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