A Cobh 'healing centre' has been rapped by the advertising watchdog for claiming its homoeopathic remedies could build resistance against Covid-19.
The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) said there was "no evidence" to support a claim the product could "help build resistance to the coronavirus that caused Covid-19".
The ad, published on the Facebook page of Robin Hill Sanctuary in Cobh, said the centre's homeopath "has researched and developed a homeopathic remedy that enhances the immune system and could help build a resistance to the Covid-19 virus".
Complaints alleged the ad was misleading and queried how it could help to build resistance to the virus.
The advertisers said they studied the progress of the virus and used their "knowledge of homeopathy" to formulate "a remedy to boost the immune system". They also pointed towards a paper on the history of the treatment of epidemics with homeopathy and said they never claimed to cure the coronavirus.
The ASAI noted World Health Organisation guidelines which said while homeopathy might provide comfort, "there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease". ASAI said "no evidence had been provided to substantiate the claim" the remedy could help build resistance to Covid-19.
ASAI upheld the complaint the ad was misleading, but rejected a complaint it "preyed" on vulnerable or scared people.
A separate complaint was upheld against Marian Nurseries in Lusk for claiming they had "discovered the potential benefits" of rose bushes for curing colds and flu. The ad said these benefits "may also be effective" against the effects of Covid-19.
The complaint said the ad was misleading and there was no medical evidence to support the claim. The advertiser provided ASAI with a statement outlining why they believed their rose bushes could cure colds. The committee found the claims were not substantiated and were likely to mislead customers.
The judgements were included in the latest complaints bulletin published by the advertising watchdog. It includes ten cases investigated by the ASAI, including complaints against the Galway Advertiser newspaper and Joe.ie, for not making it clear some articles were actually marketing materials.
Complaints were also upheld against Viagogo and Musgraves, while 13 complaints were submitted regarding an ad for the Renault Zoe car in which someone appears to urinate in public. ASAI deemed such behaviour to be unacceptable.