The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has rebuked a supplement firm, headed by leading vet Dr David Marlin.
The ASA received a complaint questioning claims, made in an advert, that the calmer ProKalm was “scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and nervousness” and could “aid concentration”.
The assertions appeared in an advert for tack shop Horse Requisites, based in Newmarket.
The ASA upheld the complaint on 19 November.
John Waterfall of Horse Requisites told H&H: “We will not be advertising ProKalm anymore but it does work — we tested it on our horse before we became a stockist.”
He said the claims made in the advert were taken from research by Dr Marlin’s company Science Supplements.
However, the ASA rejected the results of the study into the effect of ProKalm on 16 horses.
It said: “Our expert was concerned that [the research] did not detail the formulation of the active product or placebo and that bias had not been ruled out with regard to the selection of the horses included in the study.”
Dr Marlin told H&H: “We are disappointed that the ASA has invested so much time on a single, isolated and anonymous complaint, which we believe came from a competitor.
“The ASA’s criticism was based not on the efficacy of the product but, surprisingly, on the small sample size of the trial.
“We will be releasing the results of a scientific study undertaken in October shortly, which will demonstrate even more conclusively the efficacy of ProKalm.”
This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (29 November 2012)