On 2 February 2011, the Advertising Standards Committee of the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASASA) issued a ruling in the very long-running complaint against Christ Embassy lodged by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) in November 2009.
Finally, quackery is rife in South Africa. In the midst of our AIDS epidemic, this often has deadly consequences. The members of ASASA include all the major media outlets in the country. Yet many of them run adverts in obvious breach of the ASASA code, only withdrawing them once an adverse ruling has been issued. This is unacceptable and indicates that the self-regulation of advertising is currently not effective enough. We will not yet propose solutions to this problem; particularly at a time that the media is consistently under attack from anti-democratic forces and faces the spectre, admittedly lifted for the moment, of draconian legislation. But we call on ASASA and media outlets to take the initiative and address the problem. Lives of ordinary vulnerable people are put at risk from unethical advertising.