Blackmores runs afoul of Chinese truth in advertising laws

Blackmores Odourless Fish Oil product shot

China’s annual Consumer Rights Day program has condemned Blackmores for breaching the country’s truth in advertising regulations

Fairfax Media report that the company, which has enjoyed significant success in the Chinese market, was fined about AUD$69,000 for claims that it was Australia’s top nutritional supplement brand, and that its products could treat cardiovascular disease and help treat arthritis.

Consumer Rights Day, on March 15 each year, has become a media event of some significance in China, with a program broadcast annually taking aim at brands which do not deliver on their promises.

While Blackmores was not discussed on the TV show, it was named in a list of 11 companies named by Chinese state-owned media, including the news agency Xinhua, which had used problematic advertising.

The Blackmores advertising materials in question appeared at a pop-up store at Shanghai’s Pudong airport last year, but Fairfax also highlights related materials, such as a video which circulated on Chinese social media, as containing the claim to be Australia’s number one.

A Blackmores Asia spokesman told Fairfax that as soon as the company became aware of the breach, it removed the display and online posts which referenced them.

Blackmores was not the only medicines and supplements supplier targeted on Consumer Rights Day: Xinzhiyuan, an e-commerce company based in Shanghai, was condemned on the TV program for publishing advertisements which claimed a food item, marketed as a health product, could cure cancer within days.

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