Gemporia - ASA 'final warning' - AT LAST!

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TheManWithNoName

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Finally, the ASA are showing their teeth at last (probably because they're sick of me by now!).

PART ONE:

You may recall that I reported Gemporia to the ASA for using the misleading name 'Ruby Quartz'. The ASA agreed that this name is misleading because the stone is not Ruby nor does it have any Ruby content. Gemporia have now been notified that they cannot use this name in the future. All future sales of this stone will have to specify that it is red coloured Quartz.

This is a big deal for Gemporia because now that the ASA have ruled that this is misleading, it sets a precedent for other misleading stone names. This could lead to further repercussions in a few weeks time because I've since reported Gemporia for selling "Maw-Sit-Sit Jadeite" (Maw-Sit-Sit is NOT Jadeite) and "Mountain Jade Serpentine" (Serpentine is also NOT Jade!). These are still being investigated.

PART TWO (THE IMPORTANT ONE!):

I reported Gemporia to the ASA last year after Adina constantly price compared a dyed blue Opal to untreated Opal. She kept referring to both as RARE. Not once did she mention that her stone was dyed.

The ASA ruled, at that time, that the presentation was misleading - and that treatments must be displayed more clearly on screen going forward.

The ASA said "to ensure that future advertising will clearly state the main characteristics of the product, and that presenters will refrain from contradicting these main characteristics via puffery which is likely to mislead a viewer and exaggerate the capability or performance of a product. We have also provided instruction on making the infographics more transparent for viewers."

Since then, despite the ASA warning Gemporia to display treatments more clearly on screen, Gemporia sold some COATED Blue Amber on screen in February. As usual, price comparisons were made to VERY rare natural blue Amber from the Dominican Republic and Burma. Adina did not refer to her stone as being coated at all. More importantly, NO TREATMENT DETAILS WERE SHOWN ON SCREEN - despite their previous warning.

So I reported that to the ASA.

As a result of this, the ASA have today informed me of the following:

"If the advertisers (Gemporia) don’t co-operate with us on this matter in the future and adhere to our instruction, subject to assessment, we will now be in a position to consider more formal action and investigation that involves the ASA Council."

So, in a nutshell, if Gemporia fail to show the treatment on-screen, of ANY treated gemstone, in the future, and it is reported to the ASA, the ASA can finally take formal action.
 
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Nicely done. It's only a matter of time until they fudge info on treatments again. Or refer to everything as Jade, or something. But I am curious as to what the ASA Council can, or will, actually do? It seems that people complain to the ASA, who do nothing and then after an awful lot of complaints they just refer it to their own council and from the little I have found on Google the ASA council can refer it to Trading Standards. So I am still wondering what the ASA can actually do? Can the public skip these steps and just go direct to Trading Standards?
 
Nicely done. It's only a matter of time until they fudge info on treatments again.
That's what I'm thinking too. It's a case of 'when' rather than 'if' - and I'll be watching closely!

But I am curious as to what the ASA Council can, or will, actually do? It seems that people complain to the ASA, who do nothing and then after an awful lot of complaints they just refer it to their own council and from the little I have found on Google the ASA council can refer it to Trading Standards. So I am still wondering what the ASA can actually do? Can the public skip these steps and just go direct to Trading Standards?
My understanding is that the 'ASA council' take things a lot more seriously than the 'usual' staff at the ASA that deal with these complaints and are responsible for the repeated warnings with little else done.

I believe the ASA have the power to discuss a 'punishment' and then make that suggestion to OFCOM so that it can be enforced. Those punishments can be anything from a fine, to a short suspension (a few hours of being taken off air), to complete license revocation in the most severe cases.

My gut feeling is, as a 'first punishment', Gemporia would likely get instructed to stop broadcasting for around 6 hours of so. If their antics continued after that, those punishments would get more and more severe.

As for Trading Standards - they're as toothless as the ASA these days. The public can no longer go 'direct' to Trading Standards. Any complaints made through the TS website now gets sent to Citizens Advice. Citizens Advice then decide whether the complaint should be 'escalated' to Trading Standards - so the first hurdle is actually getting past Citizens Advice first. If something does get put through to TS, they don't seem to be that bothered - unlike years ago when they took everything VERY seriously.

At the end of the day, ALL of these so-called investigatory bodies have had their 'powers' diluted over the past 14 years due to continual budget cuts from government. Less money = less resources to investigate = less action being taken.

I've reported most of these incidents to Trading Standards as well as the ASA - and I've not heard back from TS on ANY of them.
 
I'm also not out to "get" Gemporia at all. They're a business - and they exist to make money. I have no issue with that.

What my goal is, is for them to make money FAIRLY, through legitimate business practices.

If they sell Quartz as Quartz, Jade as Jade and Serpentine as Serpentine, and they don't try to suggest that something dyed is 'rare' or 'natural', or try to imply that something worth £20 would sell for thousands as Tiffany's or elsewhere, then that's fine by me.

But when they're trying to make money by deception by claiming that a dyed £30 Opal is worth as much as a rare £200,000 Harlequin Opal from Australia, or they imply that dyed red Quartz is Ruby, or they try to pass off Serpentine as Jadeite, or they try to deceive people into thinking that Fluorite is as hard as a Diamond because "they share the same crystal structure", or they deliberately avoid displaying treatments on screen so that customers can't see that their blue Amber is coated, after the presenter has waffled for half an hour about it being as good and as rare as natural Indonesian blue Amber, I will draw the line and make sure that something is done to stop these poor people from being ripped off.

Making money = fine. Making money by deceiving people = disgraceful!
 
I'm also not out to "get" Gemporia at all. They're a business - and they exist to make money. I have no issue with that.

What my goal is, is for them to make money FAIRLY, through legitimate business practices.

If they sell Quartz as Quartz, Jade as Jade and Serpentine as Serpentine, and they don't try to suggest that something dyed is 'rare' or 'natural', or try to imply that something worth £20 would sell for thousands as Tiffany's or elsewhere, then that's fine by me.

But when they're trying to make money by deception by claiming that a dyed £30 Opal is worth as much as a rare £200,000 Harlequin Opal from Australia, or they imply that dyed red Quartz is Ruby, or they try to pass off Serpentine as Jadeite, or they try to deceive people into thinking that Fluorite is as hard as a Diamond because "they share the same crystal structure", or they deliberately avoid displaying treatments on screen so that customers can't see that their blue Amber is coated, after the presenter has waffled for half an hour about it being as good and as rare as natural Indonesian blue Amber, I will draw the line and make sure that something is done to stop these poor people from being ripped off.

Making money = fine. Making money by deceiving people = disgraceful!
Well done for all your efforts in reporting this. At least it gives you the satisfaction of knowing it might rattle them into actually stopping the nonsensical claims - it's not a case of an occasional slip-up, it's done repeatedly and shows either a lack of proper training (and aren't all of them supposed to be GIA qualified?) or it's being done deliberately. And we can all make our own minds up on which of these applies!

It would be stupid to be in business with the intention of losing money - and I've no problem with a company wanting to make money - but if making money involves being economical with the truth or downright untruths that are designed to mislead, then I do have a big problem with that. This is why I stopped buying years ago, and from comments I read on here the same applies with others. Like you, I cannot see that what they're doing is a logical business model - the established customers will either have fallen off by now or be on their way out because of the hike in prices and fall in quality, and it's a dodgy tactic to place all their reliance on attracting new customers (who will also get p&&&$d off and stop buying when they find the quality doesn't match the prices). The whole thing is a shambles and they ought to be learning from customer feedback, not ignoring it.
 
At least it gives you the satisfaction of knowing it might rattle them into actually stopping the nonsensical claims
I genuinely don't believe that they will ever feel any guilt in misleading and I don't think they will stop voluntarily. They'll change enough to just stay within their lalest warning.

I don't think they'll actually stop misleading for good until they actually get a punishment that hits them financially - such as a few hours suspension from broadcasting.
 
That's what I'm thinking too. It's a case of 'when' rather than 'if' - and I'll be watching closely!


My understanding is that the 'ASA council' take things a lot more seriously than the 'usual' staff at the ASA that deal with these complaints and are responsible for the repeated warnings with little else done.

I believe the ASA have the power to discuss a 'punishment' and then make that suggestion to OFCOM so that it can be enforced. Those punishments can be anything from a fine, to a short suspension (a few hours of being taken off air), to complete license revocation in the most severe cases.

My gut feeling is, as a 'first punishment', Gemporia would likely get instructed to stop broadcasting for around 6 hours of so. If their antics continued after that, those punishments would get more and more severe.

As for Trading Standards - they're as toothless as the ASA these days. The public can no longer go 'direct' to Trading Standards. Any complaints made through the TS website now gets sent to Citizens Advice. Citizens Advice then decide whether the complaint should be 'escalated' to Trading Standards - so the first hurdle is actually getting past Citizens Advice first. If something does get put through to TS, they don't seem to be that bothered - unlike years ago when they took everything VERY seriously.

At the end of the day, ALL of these so-called investigatory bodies have had their 'powers' diluted over the past 14 years due to continual budget cuts from government. Less money = less resources to investigate = less action being taken.

I've reported most of these incidents to Trading Standards as well as the ASA - and I've not heard back from TS on ANY of them.
This is good news indeed. Perhaps they will actually take some notice now. I have my doubts... but I will try to be optimistic. :)
 
Finally, the ASA are showing their teeth at last (probably because they're sick of me by now!).

PART ONE:

You may recall that I reported Gemporia to the ASA for using the misleading name 'Ruby Quartz'. The ASA agreed that this name is misleading because the stone is not Ruby nor does it have any Ruby content. Gemporia have now been notified that they cannot use this name in the future. All future sales of this stone will have to specify that it is red coloured Quartz.

This is a big deal for Gemporia because now that the ASA have ruled that this is misleading, it sets a precedent for other misleading stone names. This could lead to further repercussions in a few weeks time because I've since reported Gemporia for selling "Maw-Sit-Sit Jadeite" (Maw-Sit-Sit is NOT Jadeite) and "Mountain Jade Serpentine" (Serpentine is also NOT Jade!). These are still being investigated.

PART TWO (THE IMPORTANT ONE!):

I reported Gemporia to the ASA last year after Adina constantly price compared a dyed blue Opal to untreated Opal. She kept referring to both as RARE. Not once did she mention that her stone was dyed.

The ASA ruled, at that time, that the presentation was misleading - and that treatments must be displayed more clearly on screen going forward.

The ASA said "to ensure that future advertising will clearly state the main characteristics of the product, and that presenters will refrain from contradicting these main characteristics via puffery which is likely to mislead a viewer and exaggerate the capability or performance of a product. We have also provided instruction on making the infographics more transparent for viewers."

Since then, despite the ASA warning Gemporia to display treatments more clearly on screen, Gemporia sold some COATED Blue Amber on screen in February. As usual, price comparisons were made to VERY rare natural blue Amber from the Dominican Republic and Burma. Adina did not refer to her stone as being coated at all. More importantly, NO TREATMENT DETAILS WERE SHOWN ON SCREEN - despite their previous warning.

So I reported that to the ASA.

As a result of this, the ASA have today informed me of the following:

"If the advertisers (Gemporia) don’t co-operate with us on this matter in the future and adhere to our instruction, subject to assessment, we will now be in a position to consider more formal action and investigation that involves the ASA Council."

So, in a nutshell, if Gemporia fail to show the treatment on-screen, of ANY treated gemstone, in the future, and it is reported to the ASA, the ASA can finally take formal action.
A great job well done
 
A great job well done
It'll only be a job well done when they finally change their antics.

Until then, I'll carry on pushing for something to be done.

They don't learn. Lindsey Carr was on earlier with the 308th last on Nilamani shows. Throughout the whole pitch, the speil was refeering to Sapphire and the price comparisons were also made to Sapphire.

Shysters.
 
It'll only be a job well done when they finally change their antics.

Until then, I'll carry on pushing for something to be done.

They don't learn. Lindsey Carr was on earlier with the 308th last on Nilamani shows. Throughout the whole pitch, the speil was refeering to Sapphire and the price comparisons were also made to Sapphire.

Shysters.
If all customers seem to know that nilamani is called that because it 'looks like' sapphire, but just so happens to be kyanite, why on earth and any other location, do they insist on still referring it to sapphire. Yet ANOTHER if this were....... Also, did you get anymore comeback from the other agency, who, I can't remember without looking it up? The jewellery place in Birmingham. Yes, I sound stupid, but I'm drinking wine ;) Joking aside, I know you said they'd taken it seriously.
 
I think they must be taking note of all the warnings. Dave is on now selling an orchid lepidolite bracelet, very nice too in my opinion but too expensive for me. I messaged in asking if he could explain about the treatment (filled) and he did! First time ever, they didn't read my message but he did explain. I'm a little bit in shock so thank you and well done TMWNN.
 
I think they must be taking note of all the warnings. Dave is on now selling an orchid lepidolite bracelet, very nice too in my opinion but too expensive for me. I messaged in asking if he could explain about the treatment (filled) and he did! First time ever, they didn't read my message but he did explain. I'm a little bit in shock so thank you and well done TMWNN.
It would be nice to think that this is the start of the presenters being reined in a bit with their spiel and some factual information being given instead - and some honesty - rather than the usual hysterics, screams of 'multibuy' and convenient side-stepping of the amount they're mentioning being the split pay instalment, not the full cost. We can but hope. I'm glad you got an answer to your question, and well done to TMWNN.
 
Also, did you get anymore comeback from the other agency, who, I can't remember without looking it up? The jewellery place in Birmingham. Yes, I sound stupid, but I'm drinking wine ;) Joking aside, I know you said they'd taken it seriously.

They were going to write to Gemporia and see what they had to say.

I've heard nothing back yet, so I presume its still being dealt with.
 
It would be nice to think that this is the start of the presenters being reined in a bit with their spiel and some factual information being given instead - and some honesty - rather than the usual hysterics, screams of 'multibuy' and convenient side-stepping of the amount they're mentioning being the split pay instalment, not the full cost. We can but hope. I'm glad you got an answer to your question, and well done to TMWNN.

Very little has changed so far. Yet again today they flogged a Spinel ring and referred to it as having 'the same crystal structure as a diamond'.

'Ruby Quartz' is still showing on their website too - so despite being told not to use that name, they're continuing to do so.


If they're still showing with that name next week, I shall be going back to the ASA to point it out because Gemporia will have had two weeks to change the name by that point - more than enough time to make the changes.
 
Oh for goodness sake. Today's spiel from Mrs Davies...
Screenshot_2024-04-07-13-24-53-075.jpeg

"We got the descriptions wrong so our prices were wrong. Now we're going to put them right and the put up the prices as a result.".

Why, oh why did she do this? It's so obviously sheer market stall trading shtick, it's vaguely insulting. Last night's launch of these new IF pieces was standard and actually quite reasonable and not over-hyped by Toby (forget that Hattie was co-presenting for a minute...). He did a good job, in my opinion.

If they put "1/4ct Coated Topaz Brassy Coated Silver Cheese wire" or "10cts Ugly Dyed Quartz 0.92g Gold Whisper" as item descriptions, can we expect a dramatic price reduction in future?

Happy to "confess" this crap but swerve the more important information. 🙄
 
That looks the same as the Spinach Green Jade they had on earlier. Difficult to tell as he’s using the torch on both.
 

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