Complaint upheld over crystal therapy Facebook ads

A Napier crystal emporium has been singled out by the Advertising Standards Authority for its uncorroborated claims that its product provided therapeutic advantages.

The authority upheld a complaint against Facebook ads touting the advantages of crystals and minerals sold by Crystal Sanctuary in Napier for claims crystals had a variety of health benefits from protecting against nightmares, to helping overcome addiction.

As a result of the authority’s call, which found the majority of the claims were uncorroborated, Crystal Sanctuary was forced to delete the four Facebook posts.

The Facebook advertisements for Crystal Sanctuary Napier promoted four products: Himalayan salt, amethyst crystal, quantum Quattro crystal and Harmony Healing hand-crafted Manuka goat’s milk herbal soap.

Each advertisement had a photograph of the merchandise and an outline of what the product could be used for. For the Himalayan salt the Facebook post claimed the merchandise “emits negative ions. Making us happier and healthier” and “aids in improving mood, reduces stress and helps anxiety”.

It also claimed the merchandise relieved headaches and permits for a better sleep.

The amethyst crystal was said to assist in overcoming addictions and said to be useful with sleep disorder and protective against nightmares, whereas another crystal was said to strengthen the immune system and “activate” DNA healing.

A handmade Manuka goat’s milk flavorer soap was also a target of the complaint, as a result of a post claiming the merchandise “heals cold sores and acne”.

The authority said the adverts broken Principles 1 and 2 and Rule 2(a) of the Therapeutic and Health Advertising Code, which need advertisements for therapeutic merchandise to be truthful and not mislead customers and observe a “high standard of social responsibility”.

Part of the complaint wasn’t upheld, in relation to claims the soap could “deter” head lice and a crystal could heal “grief and the heart”, because they weren’t thought of therapeutic claims.

The complainant, mentioned in the authority’s decision as “D Ryan”, said in his complaint: “Salt or rocks have no noticeable positive effects on the body; they don’t produce ions, create energies, purify or absorb pollutants.”

The store owner Wendy Gabell said she never told customers definitively that the merchandise would heal them, and she felt her store was “being made an example of”.

“I don’t inform customers ‘this will cure you’, those quotes were excerpts from books, and we put those out in our store for individuals to do their own analysis.”