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Groupon banned from selling SNAKE OIL

Site unable to 'substantiate' serpent serum claims - ASA

Website security in corporate America

Groupon has been rapped for selling snake oil after the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) ruled that the online deals giant couldn't substantiate their claims about the reptile juice.

An advert for a deal on 'Wrinkle Killer Snake Serum' sent out in October last year by Groupon claimed that customers rubbing the reptile-derived goo on their skin would remove wrinkles and be left with younger-looking skin. The ad listed the serum's benefits:

Temporary freeze-like effects on the face muscles, helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, helps tackle the signs of ageing, leaves the skin looking younger.

Groupon argued that claims about creams and serums producing "temporary effects" normally didn't require substantiation and argued that the snake juice did have a moisturising effect which would, temporarily, leave the skin tighter and firmer.

The ASA disagreed, noting that the effect hadn't been proved in human trials and that the level of active ingredient in the advertised product was unknown. It ruled that the ad must not appear again.

Groupon have got into trouble with the ad standards regulator before, notably for pressuring punters into breast enlargement. ®

Updated to add

A Groupon spokeswoman got in touch with The Reg to say: “Groupon takes any claims by the ASA very seriously. We have further improved our checks and processes around claims for health, beauty and slimming products to make sure our customers have the information they need to make informed buying decisions."

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