Guidelines for ads on Slimming Products

Izham(Marketingmagazine.com.my) - Communications and Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia (CMCF) has issued a set of recommended guidelines for slimming products and services to assist industry practitioners intending to produce and distribute advertisements and commercials in the electronic networked medium.

The Content Code currently imposes an absolute bar on slimming products – whether used physically or consumed orally – for advertising purposes. Slimming products and services in this content include diet supplements and which are not represented as conventional food ranging from pills, capsules, tablets, liquids and powders.

“These guidelines aim to reduce any ambiguity relating to advertisements and commercials of slimming products and services,” says Izham Omar, CMCF Chairman (picture). “Unless specific regulatory or statutory requirements are cited, these guidelines, which not legally enforceable, only serve as recommendations.”

Claims that products and services can induce weight loss are only acceptable if they comply with prescribed guidelines. Vitamins and mineral supplements may advertise to safeguard against deficiencies in poorly planned diets – but not to contribute to weight loss. Such products must be approved by the Medicine Advertisement Board and the Ministry of Health before being advertised.

“There are far too many exaggerated claims that have resulted in short-term eight loss or negative results,” notes Izham, himself a picture of true slimness. “There is no substitute for managing weight loss through a properly planned diet, preferably recommended by a certified medical consultant, and exercise.”

Exercise-based products must also avoid any suggestion of weight loss or slimming. An advice to check with a doctor must be included before the proposed exercises are undertaken. Caution must be taken when using the word ‘slim’ to prevent a suggestion of possible weight loss benefits.

Advertisements for slimming clubs, clinics, and workshops are acceptable provided they conform to the Content Code guidelines.

Among the products and services that cannot be advertised to promote weight loss include sauna and Turkish baths, hypnosis, thermal pads, slimming patches, bath essences and soaps, anti-depressants, slimming creams, and machines including electrical muscle and nerve stimulators.