Zaggora weight loss clothing doesn't help you lose weight?
Things have moved on a bit since the days of snake oil. After all, we now have the ASA to look after us. And that is what the ASA have done today, stepping in to stop ‘weight loss’ clothes from being marketed as such without sufficient evidence to support their claims.
Clothing manufacturer Zaggora, whose clothes promise to help you “slim in style”, have been rapped by the regulator as they have no actual proof that the exercise get up they are flogging burns any more calories than someone wearing any other type of clothing.
Alongside claiming discounts of up to 70% which could not be substantiated (as the items in question have apparently been on sale permanently since 2013), the ASA took issue with the claims made in a number of Zaggora adverts that their clothing could burn more calories, thereby helping with weight loss. When pressed, Zaggora presented findings of a study comparing the calories burned both wearing Zaggora clothing and not wearing it.
However, the ASA were not so easily fobbed off, and felt that Zaggora’s study of nine, slim and fit young women was not statistically significant, nor representative, nor appropriate for the intended target market. The ASA stopped short of suggesting Zaggora had simply made up the results, but did point out that the study had not been ‘peer-reviewed’ and questioned the methodology and research controls used.
Overall the ASA “considered that the claims in the ads such as, "burn more", "Weight Loss Hotpants", "Slim in style", "hotpants that burn calories for you", "burn more fat", and "burn more calories", were likely to be interpreted by consumers as sustained weight loss claims, and would therefore need to be substantiated by evidence showing an effect over time,” before finding that the adverts were therefore misleading owing to the “issues” with the evidence.
However, the ASA ruling may yet prove to be snake oil itself. Despite the ruling published today, and an edict that Zaggora must not make similarly unsubstantiated claims in future, Zaggora’s email marketing sent out this very afternoon includes the words “trim your waist” and how their ‘technology’ “helps you burn more calories”. It could be that, since the ruling, Zaggora has, in fact, got robust, defensible evidence of their weight loss claims, or it could be that Zaggora are blatantly flaunting the ASA's direct order.
Unfortunately, if this is the case, it seems all the ASA can do is publish Zaggora’s name on a list of persistent offenders, leaving them free to claim all sorts to unsuspecting podgy folks who don’t necessarily read the ASA website as a matter of course. Unless they read marvellous sites like Bitterwallet instead...