“Psychic with mystical powers” – 0; ASA – 1

Dr. Semba said he is blessed with this gift to accurately tell what the future holds, but could not see an adverse ASA ruling coming

February 16, 2014
Dr Semba

A website by “Dr. Semba”, promising to solve problems which defied all solutions known to man, faced a successful complaint at the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) for misleading claims.

The website, called Sembaspells, promotes the services of Dr. Semba – “a psychic with mystical powers”. Some of his services include (among others):

  • Cast spells – love spells, marriage spells, relationship spells, business spells, and lots more.
  • See into the future and tell you what the future holds for you.
  • Perform the necessary rituals to alleviate demon oppression.
  • Cure epilepsy, high blood pressure, fever, depression, eczema and a whole lot of other infections.

These promises did not go down with another doctor – this time Dr. Rudi de Lange. De Lange lodged a complaint with the ASA, saying that there is no proof that Dr. Semba’s can cure the diseases mentioned.

“As such, the advertiser exploits consumer’s superstitions and beliefs,” argued de Lange.

The ASA tried to contact Dr. Semba to get a response on the allegations by De Lange, but they were not successful.

The ASA ruled that Dr. Semba is advertising unsubstantiated claims and abilities, and ordered him to withdraw his website claims immediately.

At the time of writing the website was still live, and the claims on the website remained unchanged.

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Tags: Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA), ASA, Headline

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