INFORMATION

This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are essential to make our site work and others help us to improve by giving us some insight into how the site is being used. For further information, see our Privacy Policy.

Advertising Standards Authority

Any topic related to science can be discussed here.
Message
Author
Tom Rees
Posts: 29
Joined: September 8th, 2007, 8:43 pm

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

#21 Postby Tom Rees » October 6th, 2007, 9:39 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Alan H wrote:The Advertising Standards Authority's website is here.

I'll occasionally publish interesting adjudications in this thread to show the kinds of things that can be successfully complained about.


Hi Alan, I was at Sainsbury's today, where the scouts had a big poster up saying that you need to be 'open-minded' to join. Now, I believe that they still officially exclude atheists - which doesn't sound very open minded to me. Is this the sort of thing that you could complain about?

User avatar
whitecraw
Banned
Posts: 233
Joined: July 10th, 2007, 12:18 am

#22 Postby whitecraw » October 6th, 2007, 11:58 pm

I believe that they still officially exclude atheists.

They can't do. Both my older boys are Scouts, and they're atheists. (At least, as far as I know they're atheists. Neither is much bothered with religion. Does that count?)

User avatar
whitecraw
Banned
Posts: 233
Joined: July 10th, 2007, 12:18 am

#23 Postby whitecraw » October 7th, 2007, 12:23 am

Hang on! I've just checked the Scout Association's Equal Opportunities Policy. It states that:
With reference to religious belief, the avowed absence of religious belief is a bar to appointment to a Leadership position.

I'll never be a Scout Master then. Still... the prospect of never becoming a Scout Master is something I find very hard to get het up about. I don't think I'll be instructing my puir wee godless bairns to exclude themselves from the Scouts owre the heid o that.

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 21852
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

#24 Postby Alan H » October 7th, 2007, 12:10 pm

Tom Rees wrote:Hi Alan, I was at Sainsbury's today, where the scouts had a big poster up saying that you need to be 'open-minded' to join. Now, I believe that they still officially exclude atheists - which doesn't sound very open minded to me. Is this the sort of thing that you could complain about?
What do they mean by 'open minded'? Could you construct an argument that showed this was misleading? I think they may be entitled to discriminate against atheists because they are a private organisation (I think, but this is based on the what happened in the USA).

I'm not sure, but I'll think about it a bit more. You don't know what else the poster said, do you?

Anyone else suggest anything?

Tom Rees
Posts: 29
Joined: September 8th, 2007, 8:43 pm

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

#25 Postby Tom Rees » October 8th, 2007, 3:03 pm

Alan H wrote:What do they mean by 'open minded'? Could you construct an argument that showed this was misleading? I think they may be entitled to discriminate against atheists because they are a private organisation (I think, but this is based on the what happened in the USA).


I think they're entitled to exclude atheists (although they do get govt funding...) It's just that this kind of exclusion doesn't sit very well with a claim to be open minded (to my mind).

Although I'm not sure whether they do or not. As of 2005 they weren't. But according to this 2007 article you can (These days you can even be an atheist Scout, promising to live life in “good moral standing”)

EDIT: according to the BHA, you can join, but not be a leader, if you are an atheist (or paedophile!)

I'm not sure, but I'll think about it a bit more. You don't know what else the poster said, do you?


It was some kind of recruitment poster for activity leaders or something. I didn't pay much attention to it at the time (kids running amok). I looked up on their website and they're doing some kind of promotional week at Sainsburys - so it'll probably be gone by the time I go back next Saturday!

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 21852
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

The Christian Congress for Traditional Values

#26 Postby Alan H » February 6th, 2008, 1:29 pm

Another ASA adjudication...
********************************************************************************
The Christian Congress for Traditional Values
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications ... _43924.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Christian Congress for Traditional Values
PO Box 9195
Brentwood
Essex
CM14 9AF
Number of complaints: 1

Date: 6 February 2008
Media: Transport
Sector: Non-commercial

Ad
A mobile poster for the Christian Congress for Traditional Values (CCTV) showed a family consisting of a man, a woman and a young son and daughter. Body copy beside it stated "GAY AIM: ABOLISH THE FAMILY." CCTVs website address was printed beneath the body copy and a banner across the picture of the family identified CCTV and showed a logo.

Issue
The complainant believed the ad suggested all gay people were against families and family values. He challenged whether:

1. this was an accurate representation of the views of gay people and

2. the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence or condone anti-social behaviour.

The CAP Code: 2.2;3.1;5.1;5.2;7.1;8.1

Response
1. CCTV said they believed the common understanding in the UK of what constituted a family was a married man and woman, both of whom had been born in that gender, and their children. They believed this understanding stemmed from the UK being a traditionally Christian country with the concept of a family being rooted in Judeo-Christian principles.

They believed the homosexual community was represented in the media and in the consciousness of the population at large by a public campaign for legislative and moral change, and that the ad represented their views in a factually accurate way. CCTV believed it was legitimate for them to state their opinion that these were the views of the public campaign. They did not believe the ad suggested that all gay people shared those views. They believed the campaigners who sought same-sex marriage did not do so simply to achieve the same domestic situation that was available to heterosexuals but also because they aimed to redefine and abolish the traditional family. They said it was that aim to which the poster referred. CCTV cited the 1971 Gay Liberation Front Manifesto documents which described the traditional family unit (husband, wife and children) as working against homosexuality, and which stated "We must aim at the abolition of the family." CCTV said that other aims listed in the 1971 Gay Liberation Front Manifesto and which had resulted in legislative or social changes included the teaching of homosexuality in schools; equalising the age of consent for homosexuals and heterosexuals; using the media to detract from the traditional family as the norm and introducing legislation to prevent discrimination against homosexuals in the workplace. CCTV cited a similar manifesto published by the National Coalition of Gay Organisations in the USA in 1972, and several authors, individual campaigners and organisations who had publicly stated similar aims in the UK and abroad to illustrate how widely held they believed the views were.

2. CCTV said their claim was their genuinely-held belief for which they believed they had provided adequate substantiation. They believed it was legitimate for them to highlight their concern that traditional Christian family values and religious liberty were threatened by the legislative changes homosexual groups campaigned for, and that there was a place in a democratic society for views both for and against to be expressed. They believed the potential for the ad to cause offence was minimal because the aim to redefine the concept of the family was so widely and openly acknowledged by the homosexual community. They acknowledged the ad might have caused offence or irritation or was unwelcome to people who disagreed with the statement but they did not believe the reaction was so widespread as to make it unacceptable. They said they did not intend the ad to result in violent reaction or antisocial behaviour.

Assessment
1. Upheld
The ASA noted CCTV's argument that they believed it was legitimate that their ad represented their point of view and considered CCTV was flagged clearly as the author of the ad. We considered, however, that in the absence of information to the contrary, the statement was likely to be understood to represent the prevailing view of the gay community. We noted the evidence CCTV provided indicated that some sections of the gay community had spoken out strongly against the traditional concept of the family. We also noted, however, that the evidence was based mainly on a document published by the Gay Liberation Front, a radical gay group which disbanded nearly 30 years ago. We noted that the language used and claim made in the ad did not appear to reflect the stance taken by today's mainstream campaigns by the gay community which expressed a desire for the responsibilities of gay people caring for children to be equal with those of heterosexual people. We also noted that a family unit today was increasingly less likely to necessarily comprise a married man and woman and their children. We considered CCTV had not supported the claim.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 8.1 (Matters of opinion).

2. Upheld
We noted CCTV's argument that they believed it was legitimate that they were permitted to express their genuinely held beliefs.

As noted in point 1 above, we considered the statement was likely to be understood to represent the prevailing view of the gay community when that was not the case. We considered the statement and the way it appeared was likely to cause offence both to the mainstream gay community and supporters of equality, and was likely to be seen as controversial and possibly inflammatory by a significant number of people who saw the poster in an untargeted medium. We concluded that the poster was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and might lead to antisocial behaviour.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code clauses 2.2 (Social responsibility), 5.1 and 5.2 (Decency) and 8.1 (Matters of opinion).

Action
We told CCTV to ensure future campaigns were not presented in a way that could cause serious or widespread offence or which might lead to antisocial behaviour.

[Captured: 06 February 2008 13:27:35]

###################
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan C.
Posts: 10356
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 3:35 pm

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

#27 Postby Alan C. » February 6th, 2008, 1:42 pm

^ Three cheers for common sense. ^
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 21852
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

#28 Postby Alan H » February 6th, 2008, 10:13 pm

More pseudo science...
********************************************************************************
Ideal Shopping Direct plc
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications ... _43932.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ideal Shopping Direct plc t/a Ideal World
Newark Road
Peterborough
PE1 5WG
Number of complaints: 1

Date: 6 February 2008
Media: Television
Sector: Leisure

Ad
A teleshopping ad for the 'Dermawand', a hand-held portable high frequency device, claimed "You use it as a skin preparation tool and you use it as a skin exerciser ... it's temporary results that you can have every single day morning noon and night if you want them. It's all about results. Results that work." The presenter said "Use your Dermawand every day" and showed various before and after shots of models who had been treated with the Dermawand. In the after shots the models appeared to have more raised and toned eyebrows.

A beautician said "The other thing the Dermawand is doing for you is exercising your face". The ad showed a series of before and after live demonstrations. The presenter said "Now obviously everybody's different, Julie gets an absolutely sensational result, but you can see the results are incredible". Superimposed text stated "Individual results may vary". The beautician said "If you look at the before, you see there the slight hoodedness over her eye, the position of her eyebrow, if you look at the wrinkles around the side of the eye, and underneath the eye as well, just concentrate on that area and when we go to the after (the ad showed the after image) the hoodedness is gone, the wrinkles have diminished, the wrinkles underneath the eye as well as at the side of the eye, the eye appears more open, the eyebrows lifted, there's not so much sagginess or bagginess". The presenter said "Its a temporary fix, it's like your teeth, your teeth are going to get dirty again if you don't clean them".

The ad featured various customer testimonials both on video and through phone messages. The ad cut to a previously recorded Dermawand ad and showed a live demonstration of the Dermawand being used on the chin and jaw line. The presenter said "(a) it works and (b) you get results and it's results that are tangible, results you can achieve".

Issue
One viewer challenged whether the efficacy of the Dermawand could be substantiated.

BCAP TV Advertising Code: 5.1;5.2.1;5.2.2;5.4.4

Response
Ideal Shopping Direct (Ideal World) said they had simply demonstrated live in the ad the exercising effects of using Dermawand on the face, and the resultant effects were obvious to viewers. They said the demonstrations carried out on the three individuals were all shown live and were entirely genuine. Ideal World said they repeatedly stated the temporary nature of the results, and that individual results varied, in order that viewers were not misled about the suitability of the product for their needs. They believed the ad conformed entirely with the CAP Help Note on Beauty Treatment Devices Using Electrical Currents, nevertheless, they offered their assurance that the ad would not be shown again until adequate scientific testing had been carried out.

Assessment
Upheld
The ASA welcomed the assurance from Ideal World that the ad would no longer appear in its current form. We understood that the Dermawand was not sold by any UK body other than Ideal World and acknowledged their assurance that properly constituted independent trials would be carried out to provide evidence of Dermawand's efficacy. However, we were concerned that Ideal World had not acted upon the recommendation of an earlier ASA Monitoring Investigation that had found no evidence supporting the efficacy of the Dermawand, and that they had continued to advertise the product without holding the necessary supporting evidence of the efficacy of the high frequency treatment. We were concerned that the effectiveness of the product, as shown during the live before and after demonstrations, was not supported by evidence. We concluded that, because Ideal World had not provided evidence that showed the product had any effect on skin, the ad was misleading.

The ad breached CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rules 5.1 (Misleading), 5.2.1 (Evidence to support claims), and 5.4.4 (Testimonials).

Action
The ad must not be shown again in its current form.

[Captured: 06 February 2008 22:11:50]

###################
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan C.
Posts: 10356
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 3:35 pm

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

#29 Postby Alan C. » February 6th, 2008, 10:44 pm

from Alans post above
If you look at the before, you see there the slight hoodedness over her eye, the position of her eyebrow, if you look at the wrinkles around the side of the eye, and underneath the eye as well, just concentrate on that area and when we go to the after (the ad showed the after image) the hoodedness is gone, the wrinkles have diminished, the wrinkles underneath the eye as well as at the side of the eye, the eye appears more open, the eyebrows lifted, there's not so much sagginess or bagginess". The presenter said "Its a temporary fix, it's like your teeth, your teeth are going to get dirty again if you don't clean them".
Why the f***k can't people just grow old and accept it? My mother is 80, and has more wrinkles than this

ImageBut I still love her.
Growing old, like dying is something non of us can avoid, so why is it some folk just can't accept it?
These people (Ideal Shopping Direct plc) are decendants of the people that encouraged women to rub arsenic into their eyes for the same reasons. :twisted:
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

User avatar
Nick
Posts: 10821
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

#30 Postby Nick » February 6th, 2008, 11:59 pm

Alan C. wrote:Image


OK! Own up! Whose mother is this?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 21852
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

#31 Postby Alan H » February 22nd, 2008, 12:40 am

Another adjudication against a chiropractor:
********************************************************************************
Atlas Wellness Centre
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications ... _44006.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Atlas Wellness Centre
129 Midland Road
Bedford
Bedfordshire
MK40 1DN
Number of complaints: 2

Date: 20 February 2008
Media: Insert, Regional press
Sector: Health and beauty






Ad
A regional press insert was headlined "A Doctor's Confession to the Town of Bedford ..." The text stated "... I go to the medical doctors. They do dozens of tests, but they can't find out what's causing my awful headaches ... later on, I start having terrible back pain. I try pain medications, but nothing helps. That's when I decide to give a new doctor a try. This doctor does an examination, takes some x-rays, and then adjusts my spine ... I get relief from the back pain and guess what else! Pretty soon my awful headaches are completely gone! Oh, did I mention that this doctor is a spinal specialist? It works so well for me, and I'm so impressed with the other miracles I see in his office, that I eventually go to college so I can learn this myself ... now people come to see me with their headache problems. Also they come to see me with their migraines, chronic pain, neck pain shoulder/arm pain, whiplash from car accidents, carpal tunnel syndrome, backaches, ear infections, asthma, allergies, numbness in limbs, athletic injuries, just to name a few." Testimonials from patients included "After years of constant back and leg pain, I was at the point where I couldn't sit, stand or lie down without pain. Thanks to Dr. Peter, my back and leg pain have [sic] improved dramatically and my IBS even seems to be much better!" The text continued "... the studies speak for themselves, like the U.S. study that showed that over 90% of patients who saw a spinal specialist were satisfied with their results ... published, peer-reviewed research indicates that the immune system may be enhanced by spinal adjustments ... Although all people respond differently to care, maybe you won't be running off to the doctor as much once you start spinal care." The ad was signed from Peter Olsson.

Issue
1. The General Chiropractic Council (GCC) and a member of the public objected that Peter Olsson was not entitled to describe himself as "doctor". The GCC said Peter Olsson had taken voluntary removal from their Register of Chiropractors and he did not appear on the GMC's List of Registered Medical Practitioners.

The same member of the public challenged whether:

2. the description "spinal specialist" misleadingly implied that the advertiser was a medically-qualified specialist;

3. the claim "I'm so impressed with the other miracles I see" gave a misleading impression of the efficacy of the treatments offered;

4. the claim "over 90% of patients who saw a spinal specialist were satisfied with their results" was misleading and could be substantiated;

5. the claim "published, peer-reviewed research indicates that the immune system may be enhanced by spinal adjustments" was misleading and could be substantiated.

6. The ASA challenged whether the ad implied that chiropractic treatment could treat serious or prolonged medical conditions such as migraines, whiplash and chronic pain.

The CAP Code: 3.1;7.1;50.1;50.3

Response
1. Peter Olsson, on behalf of The Atlas Wellness Centre, said he was not aware that the law required someone to be registered with the GCC or GMC in order to describe themselves as "doctor". He argued that a recognised regulatory governing body, the GCC, stated on their website that anyone could use the title "Dr" in the UK as long as they did not lead anyone to think that they were registered with the GMC as a medical practitioner or falsely claim to have a doctorate awarded by a university, such as a PhD. He said he did not understand why the GCC had objected in the light of those guidelines. He also said he appreciated the need for vigilance given the current contention about the overuse of the term "Doctor" within the media, for example House Doctor and Debt Doctor. He asserted that he held the relevant qualifications and sent copies of his degree certificates. He stated that until the matter was settled he would amend the ads to ensure that they distinguished between medical doctors and their own non-medical specialist provision. He added that they did not wish to be associated with evidence-based medicine (treatment of disease using conventional medical therapies) or UK Chiropractic in any way.

2. Peter Olsson said Atlas had been unable to find literature to explain the limitations of the use of the description "specialist". He pointed out that they had conferred with an educational specialist, a physical training specialist and a specialist in dyslexia and basic skills, and had found that none of them had been questioned regarding their medical qualifications or experience or challenged about their use of the term in advertising.

He explained that "specialist" was a very accurate description of the service he provided. He said he spent the vast majority of patient contact time solely analysing and adjusting their spines. He claimed that he specialised in the identification of the vertebral subluxation complex and care of the human spine, and was fully qualified to do so. He said he studied for five years in full-time higher education and as part of his professional development he continued to attend post-graduate training with global specialists, to keep abreast of the latest advancements in spinal care protocol, spinal neurology and the physiological impact of an unhealthy spine and nerve function.

3. Peter Olsson acknowledged that the use of the word "miracle" had religious connotations and might concern people of a certain faith. He said he would use "amazing results" instead. He sent signed patient testimonials which he claimed confirmed that he did achieve amazing results.

4. Peter Olsson said the data was taken from a review conducted by the FCER (Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research) in the United States. He sent a copy of the review. He said it showed that patient satisfaction with professionals specialising in spinal care and chiropractic ranged from 8/10 to 100%, and that when he wrote the ad he felt that 90% would be the most accurate representation of the papers reviewed in the study. He added that Atlas had a very high patient satisfaction rate, which was consistent with the study. He said he had thorough training in Chiropractic and previous experience as a chiropractor. He explained that although the research, which referred to chiropractic findings, informed his current practise, it was not the basis for it. He said he specifically referred to US research because the work he did in the UK would be recognised as chiropractic in the US. He added that due to differing regulations, the care that he provided was not included under chiropractic in the UK.

5. In support of the claim, Peter Olsson provided copies of peer reviewed research articles and summaries of further studies taken from a publication.

6. Peter Olsson argued that the ad did not claim that chiropractic treatment could treat the medical conditions referred to, but merely mentioned that people came to him with those conditions. He also pointed out that he did not mention chiropractic in the ad because he was not a chiropractor. He said he did not seek to cure, heal or care for any specific diagnosed condition other than reducing/correcting the vertebral subluxation complex and facilitating the body's ability to heal itself, that being the "confession" of the ad. He also said patients who suffered with the medical conditions mentioned were cared for world-wide by osteopaths, chiropractors and spinal specialists. He said he would focus on the specific conditions of migraine, whiplash and chronic pain referred to in the complaint, and said he had gathered an evidence-based collection of reports and peer reviewed articles to give more perspective on those issues. He supplied copies of peer reviewed articles and summaries of further studies taken from a publication.

Assessment
1. Upheld
The ASA noted Peter Olsson held UK degrees in Neuromusculoskeletal Sciences and in Chiropractic. We also noted his argument that the title "Dr" was not protected in law. We understood the GCC allowed registered chiropractors to use the title providing they made clear that they were registered chiropractors and were not registered medical practitioners. We noted Peter Olsson was no longer registered with the GCC. We considered that the use of the headline "A doctor's confession ..." and the references to "doctor" and "Dr. Peter" throughout the ad gave the impression that Peter Olsson was a registered medical doctor. Because he was not, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation) and 7.1 (Truthfulness).

2. Upheld
We noted Peter Olsson's argument that practitioners in many fields described themselves as specialists. We considered, however, that the description "spinal specialist" in an ad that referred to "doctor" and to the treatment of medical conditions could give the impression that Peter Olsson was a registered medical doctor who was a specialist in the spinal field. We concluded that the references to "spinal specialist" in the context of the ad were likely to mislead.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation) and 7.1 (Truthfulness).

3. Upheld
We noted the term "miracle" was used to describe the results of treatment for medical conditions. We considered that the claim was strongly worded and could lead readers to believe that spinal adjustments were likely to result in dramatic improvements to patients' health. Because we had not seen evidence to show that that they did, we concluded the reference to "miracles" was misleading.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation) and 7.1 (Truthfulness).

4. Not upheld
We noted the study referred to several patient surveys carried out in the US in the 1990s. For example, a survey of 3000 randomly selected patients showed that 94% were satisfied or very satisfied with the chiropractic care they received. A study conducted by Gallup showed that nine out of ten chiropractic users felt their treatment was effective and eight out of ten were satisfied with their treatment. A survey of chiropractic patients in medically underserved areas reported a 100% satisfaction rate with the care they received. We also noted the ad summarised the surveys and referred to "over 90% of patients" being satisfied with their results. We considered that ad made it clear that the data referred to came from a US source. We also considered that readers would understand that the claim was not necessarily representative of all patients. We concluded that the claim was unlikely to mislead.

On this point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation) and 7.1 (Truthfulness) but did not find it in breach.

5. Upheld
We took expert advice. We noted his comments that, of the studies supplied, some were not relevant because the trial was carried out on specific patient groups (for example, HIV-positive people or those suffering from Crohn's disease), meaning that results would not be applicable for the immune system in general. Another of the studies was not useful because the results suggested a down-regulation of the immune system, contrary to the enhancement claimed in the ad, and the clinical relevance was uncertain with the study requiring independent replication before its results could be accepted. We also noted his comment that the further studies summarised in the submission had not been supplied in full and were published mostly in journals that were not available through the usual sources. We understood from the expert that the question of whether spinal manipulation affected the immune system had not been extensively studied, that existing studies were not of high quality and independent replications were not available, and that there were also studies that showed no effect on immune parameters. We noted his conclusion that the evidence provided did not support the claim that spinal manipulation affected the immune system, and that, even if effects were proven, the matter would be open to further debate and research to determine whether that translated into beneficial clinical effects on the health of patients or healthy people. We concluded that the claim was likely to mislead.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 50.1 (Health & Beauty products and therapies).

6. Upheld
We took expert advice. We noted our expert considered that one of the articles supplied, a randomised controlled trial with migraine patients that suggested a positive symptomatic effect, was sufficiently rigorous to support the claim that spinal manipulation was effective to relieve symptoms of migraine. We also noted he was aware of other studies that showed that spinal manipulation was effective at treating the symptoms of migraine. We also noted his comment that an article supplied to substantiate the efficacy of treatment for whiplash was a case report and was not therefore sufficient to prove the effectiveness of an intervention. We noted, furthermore, the other evidence summarised was not supplied in full and the expert was unable to verify its authenticity.

We acknowledged that Peter Olsson had provided evidence to show that chiropractic spinal manipulation therapy could be effective for migraine, but we noted that we had not seen sufficient evidence to show that spinal manipulation could treat the other medical conditions mentioned in the ad. We understood that ads could refer to serious ailments like migraine, whiplash and chronic pain only if advice, diagnosis or treatment was conducted under the supervision of a suitably qualified health professional. Although we noted Peter Olsson used to be registered with the GCC and had trained in chiropractic, we considered that because he was not a medical doctor and because he was not subject to regulation by a statutory or recognised medical or health professional body, the ad should not have referred to serious or prolonged medical conditions.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness), 50.1 and 50.3 (Health & Beauty products and therapies).

Action
The ad should not reappear in its current form. We advised Atlas to seek copy advice from CAP

[Captured: 22 February 2008 00:37:56]

###################
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 21852
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

#32 Postby Alan H » February 22nd, 2008, 12:42 am

A similar one:
********************************************************************************
Ideal Spine Centre
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications ... _44005.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ideal Spine Centre
30 Whitstable Road
Blean
Canterbury
Kent
CT2 9EB
Number of complaints: 2

Date: 20 February 2008
Media: Leaflet
Sector: Health and beauty






Ad
a). A leaflet, for the Ideal Spine Centre (ISC), was headlined "Healthcare Practitioner's Confession to the City of Canterbury". The author was entitled "Dr Christian Farthing BappSc (ClinSc); BCSc. WELLNESS DOCTOR & SPINAL WELLNESS PRACTITIONER". The text described him as a "Doctor of Chiropractic". Text at the bottom of the page stated "Background Information: Dr Christian H.E. Farthing is not a medical doctor or chiropractor in the United Kingdom. However, Dr Farthing is a Doctor of Chiropractic in Australia where he gained his double degree (Bachelor of Applied Science (Clinical Science); Bachelor of Chiropractic Science) and his title of Doctor." The leaflet went on to state "Having practised as a Spinal Specialist in the United Kingdom, it has been alarmingly obvious that more people (including children) are taking an increasing number of drugs and other forms of medication than ever before. The problem is, people believe that drugs are correcting the problem ... The problem is, you may not even feel these misalignments [of the spine], but ultimately feel the effects of them. Some of the effects include headaches, migraines, pins and needles, numbness, sciatica, carpal tunnel, neuralgia, back and neck pain to even things like frozen shoulder, difficulty sleeping and poor concentration."

b). A second leaflet, also for the Ideal Spine Centre, was headlined "CANTERBURY HEALTH ANNOUNCEMENT FREE SPINE AND HEALTH CHECK". The text stated "Ever heard these comments before? - You have just got to live with it OR It's just old age - It's just wear and tear - You need to take 'pain killer' medication OR - YOU are still suffering - YOU don't know what is causing your problem - Your problem affects your work or family life - Other methods have failed & provide only temporary relief If any of these sound familiar, you need to have your spine assessed, as this is often the root cause of many common ailments." Testimonials from patients included "I was getting to the point that I felt disabled. I had been down the endless road of doctors, specialists and consultants. However, the Ideal Spine Centre has provided correction to my spine and I have never looked back."

Issue
1. The General Chiropractic Council (GCC) noted Christian Farthing was currently suspended from the GCC's Register of Chiropractors and that he did not appear on the GMC's List of Registered Medical Practitioners. They objected that ad (a) misleadingly implied that Christian Farthing was a registered medical practitioner or chiropractor.

2. The ASA challenged whether ad (a) implied that the ISC could treat serious medical conditions such as migraine.

3. A member of the public challenged whether ad (b) encouraged treatment of serious or prolonged medical conditions by unqualified practitioners.

4. The same member of the public objected that it was misleading for ad (b) to offer a "Spine & Health check" as he believed this was not carried out by medically qualified staff.

The CAP Code: 3.1;7.1;50.1;50.3

Response
1. The ISC confirmed that Christian Farthing of the Ideal Spine Centre had been suspended from the GCC register. They maintained, however, that he had requested to be removed months before the event because he did not agree with its administration. They said, although he was no longer registered with the GCC, Christian Farthing was still able to provide spinal health care using chiropractic methodology because he had a chiropractic qualification and was registered in Australia. They asserted that the GCC regulated chiropractors and the title chiropractor, but did not regulate the use of the term 'chiropractic'. They argued that he was a Spinal Specialist and was also registered as an Osteomyologist in the UK. They claimed that although he was not registered with the GCC, he was a very responsible health-care practitioner who was also governed by IRMER 2000 Regulations in relation to the use of ionising radiation (diagnostic X-ray imaging). They said he had qualified as a chiropractor in Australia and had had the training to practice chiropractic. They argued that the disclaimer in the ad made clear that he was not a medical doctor or chiropractor in the UK. They said they would remove any references in the ad that posed a problem to the ASA.

They added that the leaflet was available for patients to read at the practice, and that they could take photocopies if they wished, but that it had not been distributed outside the practice. They said the words "I am sorry for adding to your mail this week" referred to the fact that the leaflet was additional reading material to what people might receive in the post. They added that following previous discussions with the ASA they had complied with its guidance whenever they placed newspaper ads, but that they had not realised the leaflet to be within ASA's remit. They said they would no longer use the leaflet or make it available for patients to take home.

They pointed out that the Chiropractors Act 1994 stated that a person "who (whether expressly or by implication) describes himself as a chiropractor, chiropractic practitioner, chiropractitioner, chiropractic physician, or any other kind of chiropractor, is guilty of an offence unless he is a registered chiropractor." They asserted that their advertising had already been investigated by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which had ruled that it did not breach Section 32(1) of the Chiropractors Act and was not misleading.


2. The ISC pointed out that a 'Patient Information Leaflet' on the GCC website referred to patients seeing an improvement in some types of headaches, including migraine. They said they had believed the governing body's education literature would contain proven claims and that they were not irresponsible to rely on the accuracy of that literature. The ISC sent a leaflet by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) and pointed out that it stated that chiropractors treated many of the causes of headaches and it also referred to migraines. They said they expected information from the BCA to be valid, reliable and evidence-based and if they were found to be in breach, then the GCC and BCA were also in breach of the CAP Code. They said they would remove references to migraine from the ad and send the ASA evidence if they decided to use it again. They said they agreed that chiropractors could not treat serious or prolonged conditions but that they did not claim to cure them, and that they merely corrected spinal dysfunction, better known as vertebral subluxation, and the body functioned better. They said GCC-registered UK chiropractors worked at the ISC. They stated that Dr. Farthing was the owner of the practice, but the ISC employed registered chiropractors to assist in the evaluations and treatment of all patients. They maintained that all patients were seen by a suitably qualified health professional.

3. The ISC said GCC registered UK chiropractors worked at the ISC and helped with the screening process. Two UK chiropractors, who were currently registered with the GCC, sent letters to confirm that they assisted with the free spine and health checks at the ISC. The ISC said the registered chiropractors were also present at screenings, carried out consultations and provided spinal health care using chiropractic methodology. They maintained, therefore, that all patients were seen by a suitably qualified health professional. The ISC pointed out that no treatment was given at a screening, they did not encourage treatment for any conditions and that, if a medical condition was revealed in the screening process that the ISC could not assist with, the patient was referred to a medical doctor immediately. They argued that the testimonials and claims about medical conditions in the ad related mainly to lower back pain. They claimed that references to "getting to the point where I felt disabled" and to "the endless road of doctors" did not mean the conditions were serious or prolonged, but merely that other treatments had not worked. They argued that the testimonials were genuine and showed how people's lives had changed.

The ISC repeated their argument that that chronic conditions were referred to in the BCA and GCC literature.


4. The ISC reiterated that registered chiropractors carried out the spine and health check and that the ad referred to preliminary screening and not to treatment. They explained that the check consisted of completion of a detailed screening questionnaire by the patient, followed by a relevant spine, posture and health check. They said the World Health Organization referred to chiropractors as "drugless healthcare practitioners" and that it was perfectly valid for the practice, which employed registered chiropractors, to advertise that it carried out health checks. They reiterated that they referred patients with conditions they could not treat to a medical doctor and were very aware that they screened people to see if they could help their back pain.

Assessment
1. Upheld
The ASA noted the ISC did not consider the leaflet to be within the remit of the ASA because it was available only in the surgery. We noted text in the leaflet referred to it as a "letter" and stated "I am sorry for adding to your mail this week" which suggested that it had been available for distribution at some point. We also noted it was available to be photocopied and taken away by patients. We considered that it was an ad for the purposes of the Code.

We noted ISCs comments about the CPS but understood that the CPS had considered only directory ads that had not referred to Christian Farthing as a doctor or referred to chiropractic treatment. The CPS had concluded that there was not a realistic prospect of conviction under The Act .

We noted, although he was not medically qualified and had been suspended from the GCC, Christian Farthing was registered as a chiropractor in Australia. We acknowledged he was also registered as an osteomyologist in the UK. We noted, however, osteomyology was not subject to statutory regulation and did not require an entry qualification beyond a degree in a physical medical discipline such as chiropractic or osteopathy. We also noted the ISC's argument that the disclaimer in the ad made it clear that he was not a medical doctor or UK-qualified chiropractor. We considered, however, that the references in the main text to "Dr Farthing", "The Family Doctor" and "Spinal Specialist" gave the impression that Christian Farthing was a registered medical doctor who was a specialist in the spinal field. We considered that the disclaimer, which appeared in small print, could be overlooked. We also considered that the statement "I graduated ... as a Doctor of Chiropractic in Australia" was likely to lead readers to believe that he was a UK chiropractor who had qualified in Australia. We noted the Chiropractors Act 1994 stated that a person "who (whether expressly or by implication) describes himself as a chiropractor, chiropractic practitioner, chiropractitioner, chiropractic physician, or any other kind of chiropractor, is guilty of an offence unless he is a registered chiropractor." Because he was suspended from the GCC's Register of Chiropractors and therefore was not entitled to call himself a chiropractor in the UK, we concluded that the claims were misleading.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation) and 7.1 (Truthfulness)

2. Upheld
We understood that ads could refer to serious ailments like migraine only if advice, diagnosis or treatment was conducted under the supervision of a suitably qualified health professional. We noted we had seen evidence that two qualified chiropractors worked at the ISC but that one of the practitioners was Christian Farthing who had been suspended from the GCC's Register of Practitioners. We noted the ISC had based its claims about migraine on information published by the GCC and BCA. We also noted the ISC had not sent documentary evidence to show that chiropractors were able to treat migraine or other conditions such as sciatica and neuralgia that were referred to in the ad. We had, however, recently seen evidence from another chiropractor that satisfied us that chiropractors could treat migraine. However, because we had not seen evidence that patients would be treated by a suitably qualified health professional or evidence that chiropractors were able to treat sciatica or neuralgia, we concluded that the ad breached the Code. We welcomed the ISC's assurance that they would remove references to migraine and other serious conditions from the ad.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness), 50.1 and 50.3 (Health & Beauty products and therapies)

3. Upheld
We noted the ISC employed registered UK chiropractors who attended the spine and health checks. We also noted their assertion that patients would be referred to a medical doctor if the practitioners considered they were unable to treat their condition. We acknowledged that accepted scientific evidence suggested chiropractic treatment could be effective for lower back pain, and that the ad was for a preliminary assessment rather than for treatment. We also noted, however, the main text stated "You are still suffering", "Other methods have failed" and the testimonials referred to "the endless road of doctors", "getting to the point where I felt disabled" and "debilitating pain down my leg". We considered that the references to prolonged pain were likely to lead readers to believe that chronic pain and other serious conditions could be treated at the ISC. Because we had not seen evidence that all patients would be seen by a suitably qualified health professional, or that chiropractic treatment was effective for the treatment of the chronic conditions described in the ad we concluded that the ad breached the Code.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness), 50.1 and 50.3 (Health & Beauty products and therapies)

4. Not upheld
We noted the ad was headlined "CANTERBURY HEALTH ANNOUNCEMENT" and advertised a spine and health check. We also noted the ISC's argument that the ad referred to preliminary screening and not to treatment, and that a referral system existed for those ailments that were not considered treatable at the clinic. We understood the health checks were carried out by qualified chiropractors registered with the GCC and that they consisted of a screening questionnaire and a spine and posture check. We considered that chiropractors who were registered with the GCC were suitably qualified to carry out spine and health checks. We concluded that the ad was not misleading.

On this point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness), 50.1 and 50.3 (Health & Beauty products and therapies) but did not find it in breach.

Action
We told the ISC to remove references to Doctor. We noted ISCs assurance that they would not refer in future ads to serious or prolonged medical conditions. We advised them to seek advice from the CAP Copy Advice team when preparing future advertising.

[Captured: 22 February 2008 00:41:48]

###################
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Oxfordrocks
Posts: 669
Joined: September 10th, 2007, 9:45 am

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

#33 Postby Oxfordrocks » February 22nd, 2008, 8:25 am

Job done.(almost)
Nice one Alan H.

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 21852
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

#34 Postby Alan H » March 7th, 2008, 9:56 pm

This is a good one that shows how the ASA often add their complaint to one from a member of the public. Not surprisingly, they win!

********************************************************************************
Age Technology
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications ... _44082.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ASA Adjudications
Age Technology
Freepost Plus RRHY-ZJJA-CJCU
405 Kings Road
London
SW10 0BB
Number of complaints: 1

Date: 5 March 2008
Media: Mailing
Sector: Health and beauty

Ad
A direct mailing was headed "Boots No7 Protect - The Age Reversing Anti Wrinkle Serum recommended on the BBC ... TO ORDER TIME-DEFY SERUM CALL: 0808 XXX XXXX TODAY." Body copy inside the mailing stated "Time DefyTM Serum is a safe and effective alternative to plastic surgery and injections, it has been proven, in clinical studies, to reduce wrinkles by more than 30% in just the first month of use! ... Hot on the heels of Boots No7 comes Time Defy Serum - it contains the same anti-wrinkle ingredients, available at a fraction of the cost and it's in stock now! ... thanks to the recent BBC2 Horizon programme millions of women in the UK know they can get exactly the same results at a fraction of the price - no wonder these serums have been practically SOLD-OUT!" Body copy on page three of the mailing stated "... Time Defy Serum (has) now been proven effective for reducing wrinkles and smoothing facial skin by up to 60% in just one month while skin thickness increased by over 8% in four months. In vivo testing showed that applications reduced wrinkles around the eyes by as much as 20% after two months and by more than 60% after 4 months. That's a full two-third reduction in lines and wrinkles plus a lot of years off of your face in just 4 months! The mailing showed "before and after" pictures of a woman's eyes and mouth. Body copy underneath stated "Time Defy SerumTM works in 3 ways - 1. First it repairs the matrix and epidermal junction to reduce wrinkle depth by 40%; 2. Natural botanical extracts moisturise and soothe your skin; 3. Anti-oxidants prevent damage by free radicals so help keep your skin looking younger." Page four of the mailing showed "before and after" pictures and testimonials from five customers. Body copy underneath referred to "the incredible rejuvenating effects of Time Defy SerumTM." The mailing contained an order form on the reverse of which was a letter headed "Age Defying Anti Wrinkle Serum recommended on the BBC" beginning "Dear Friend" and signed by Dr Elizabeth Jenkins, Research Director, Age Technology. The letter referred to a product available on the High Street which a BBC programme reported to be as effective as products costing considerably more. The letter stated "Our scientists here at Age Technology believe the secret to its success lies with a few ingredients the peptides, antioxidants, vitamins and natural actives - such as those in Time Defy Serum, which importantly contains exactly the same peptide and pro-retinol as the BBC recommended ... So instead of spending hours in an undignified high street queue, paying 3 or 4 times on the internet - why not order Time Defy Serum today? It's guaranteed to work, making you look years younger, less wrinkled, with reduced lines and creases and smoother, softer skin after just a few weeks regular application ..."

Issue
1. The recipient challenged whether customers would receive the Boots No7 Protect & Perfect product.

The ASA challenged whether the advertisers could substantiate the claims:

2. "it contains the same anti-wrinkle ingredients (as the Boots No7 product)";

3. "it's now been proven effective for reducing wrinkles and smoothing facial skin by up to 60% in just one month";

4. "skin thickness increased by over 8% in four months";

5. "In vivo testing showed that applications reduced wrinkles around the eyes by as much as 20% after two months and by more than 60% after 4 months";

6. "it repairs the matrix and epidermal junction to reduce wrinkle depth by 40%" and

7. "Anti-oxidants prevent damage by free radicals so help keep your skin looking younger".

The ASA also challenged

8. whether the before-and-after photographs were a genuine representation of the effect of the treatment and

9. whether the testimonials were genuine.

The CAP Code:
3.1;7.1;18.4;14.1;50.1;14.2;14.5

Response
1. Age Technology said the ad clearly identified their product as Time Defy Serum, which they said was a trademark, and maintained there had been no intention to imply that any other product was being sold. They believed the ad clearly distinguished Time Defy Serum from Boots No7 Protect & Perfect by describing it as "Hot on the heels of Boots No7;" that pricing details and the order form referred to Time Defy Serum only and that colour photographs of bottles of the product used at three different points in the ad showed it as being visibly different and distinct from Boots No7 Protect & Perfect.

2. Age Technology provided details of the ingredients as listed on the outside of Boots No7 Protect & Perfect and Time Defy Serum. In both cases the lists included Retinyl Palmitate and Palmitoyl Pentapeptide 3.

3. Age Technology supplied evidence which they believed showed that Palmitoyl Pentapeptide 3 and Retinol - two of the ingredients in Time Defy Serum - had been proven to be effective for reducing wrinkles and smoothing facial skin by up to 60% in one month.

4. Age Technology supplied evidence which they believed showed that Palmitoyl Pentapeptide 3 and Retinol - two of the ingredients in Time Defy Serum - had been proven to be effective in improving skin thickness by between 8.6 and 8.7%.

5. Age Technology supplied evidence which they believed showed that Palmitoyl Pentapeptide 3 and Retinol - two of the ingredients in Time Defy Serum - had been proven to be effective in reducing wrinkles around the eyes by 20% in two months and by 60% over four months.

6. Age Technology supplied evidence which they believed showed that Palmitoyl Pentapeptide 3 and Retinol - two of the ingredients in Time Defy Serum - repaired the matrix and epidermal junction to reduce wrinkle depth by 40% in four months.

7. Age Technology said they believed the relationship between free radical skin damage and prevention by anti-oxidant action was widely accepted. They cited a study undertaken in 2007 by the American Archives of Dermatology which they believed provided conclusive evidence of the efficacy of topical retinol (vitamin A) in improving the clinical signs of naturally aged skin.

8. Age Technology stated that they held the original photographs on file.

9. Age Technology stated that they held the original testimonials on file.

Assessment
1. Not upheld
The ASA noted there were several references to the Boots No7 product on the front of the mailing, for example "Boots No7 Protect & Perfect - The Age Reversing Anti Wrinkle Serum recommended on the BBC." However, we also noted that the inside of the mailing contained the wording "Hot on the heels of Boots No7 comes Time Defy Serum" and "Considering Boots No7 Protect & Perfect - then you must read this - TIME DEFY SERUM ... ;" that the order form referred to and showed Time Defy Serum only and that the letter that accompanied the mailing stated "Our scientists here at Age Technology believe the secret to its success lies with a few ingredients ... such as those in Time Defy Serum, which importantly contains exactly the same peptide and pro-retionol as the BBC recommended ..."

On balance, we considered most of the text clearly distinguished between the two products and was unlikely to mislead readers into expecting that they would receive Boots No7 Protect and Perfect.

On this point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code clauses 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 18.4 (Comparisons with identified competitors and/or their products) but did not find it in breach.

2. Upheld
We noted that the outside of Boots No7 Protect & Perfect and Time Defy Serum both listed Retinyl Palmitate and Palmitoyl Pentapeptide 3 as ingredients and that Age Technology believed they were the key anti-wrinkle ingredients of both products.

We considered the term "anti-wrinkle" implied more than a simply cosmetic effect and would be understood as claiming a physiological action. Because claims relating to such an action had not been found acceptable before, an adequate body of evidence was required to back-up this claim. We noted that the evidence Age Technology supplied referred to human studies; that the studies used what Age Technology considered to be the key active ingredients in Time Defy Serum and compared them against placebos on the facial area and that the volunteers appeared to be from the sector of the population at which the product was targeted. However, we also noted that the evidence only summarised the studies and did not contain full details of their methodology and analysis that we would normally expect to demonstrate that they had been adequately controlled and the validity of the results. We therefore concluded there was not sufficient evidence to support the claim.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 50.1 (Health & beauty products and therapies).

3. Upheld
We considered the claim implied more than simply a cosmetic effect and would be understood as claiming a physiological action with a cumulative effect. Because claims relating to such an action had not been found acceptable before, an adequate body of evidence was required to back-up this claim. For the reasons described in point 2 above, we concluded that the evidence Age Technology supplied did not meet that standard and was not sufficient to support the claim.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 50.1 (Health & beauty products and therapies).

4. Upheld
We considered the claim implied more than simply a cosmetic effect and would be understood as claiming a physiological action with a cumulative effect. Because claims relating to such an action had not been found acceptable before, an adequate body of evidence was required to back up this claim. For the reasons described in point 2 above, we concluded that the evidence Age Technology supplied did not meet that standard and was not sufficient to support the claim.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 50.1 (Health & beauty products and therapies).

5. Upheld
We considered the claim implied more than simply a cosmetic effect and would be understood as claiming a physiological action with a cumulative effect. Because claims relating to such an action had not been found acceptable before, an adequate body of evidence was required to back-up this claim. For the reasons described in point 2 above, we concluded that the evidence Age Technology supplied did not meet that standard and was not sufficient to support the claim.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 50.1 (Health & beauty products and therapies).

6. Upheld
We considered the claim implied more than simply a cosmetic effect and would be understood as claiming a physiological action with a cumulative effect. Because claims relating to such an action had not been found acceptable before, an adequate body of evidence was required to back-up this claim. For the reasons described in point 2 above, we concluded that the evidence Age Technology supplied did not meet that standard and was not sufficient to support the claim.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 50.1 (Health & beauty products and therapies).

7. Upheld
The ASA and CAP accept that, when taken orally, beta-carotene (vitamin A) and vitamins C and E are effective antioxidants. For products containing them in sufficient quantities, claims that they help protect the body's tissues against the damaging effects of free radicals, for instance, are likely to be acceptable. However, because claims relating to the efficacy of topically-applied antioxidants had not been found acceptable before, an adequate body of evidence was required to back-up claims relating to topical application. We noted that the trial Age Technology cited was carried out on the upper inner arm which we understood was not a good model for facial skin, the area on which Time Defy Serum would be applied. We concluded that the evidence Age Technology supplied was not sufficient to support the claim.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 50.1 (Health & beauty products and therapies).

8. Upheld
Age Technology had not provided signed and dated proof that the photographs were genuine and also that they had not been manipulated. Even if they had done so, however, we did not consider Age Technology had provided a robust body of evidence to substantiate the level of efficacy the photographs implied.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness), 14.1 (Testimonials and endorsements) and 50.1 (Health & beauty products and therapies).

9. Upheld
Age Technology had not provided signed and dated proof that the testimonials were genuine. Even if they had done so, however, we did not consider Age Technology had provided a robust body of evidence to substantiate the level of efficacy the testimonials claimed.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness), 14.1, 14.3 and 14.5 (Testimonials and endorsements) and 50.1 (Health & beauty products and therapies).

Action
We told Age Technology to delete the claims that suggested more than a simply cosmetic effect from their ad until they held sufficient substantiation to back them up.

[Captured: 07 March 2008 21:54:01]

###################
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Jem
Posts: 973
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:37 pm

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

#35 Postby Jem » March 11th, 2008, 10:04 pm

Great result! The complaint from the member of the public seems a bit silly but perhaps if they hadn't made it the ASA wouldn't have done their bit.

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 21852
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

#36 Postby Alan H » March 12th, 2008, 10:12 pm

This got an article in the Guardian and The Times (both included in today's MediaScan). The advert can be seen here:

********************************************************************************
Jemella Ltd
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications ... _44122.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jemella Ltd
PO Box 397
Keighley
Bradford
West Yorkshire
BD20 0WX
Number of complaints: 23

Date: 12 March 2008
Media: Television
Sector: Health and beauty
Agency: TBWA

Three TV ads for the GHD hair styler.

a. The first ad showed a woman wearing lingerie, sitting on the edge of a bed with beads clasped in her hands. The woman looked upwards and her thoughts could be heard in Italian; on-screen text stated "May my new curls make her feel choked with jealousy". Large on-screen text stated "ghd IV thy Will Be Done", the letter 't' appeared as a cross. On-screen text then stated "ghd. A new religion for hair".

b. The second ad showed a woman lying on a bed with bright light shining through a skylight. She looked upwards towards the skylight and her thoughts could be heard in Swedish; on-screen text stated "May my flirty flicks puncture the heart of every man I see". Large on-screen text stated "ghd IV thy Will Be Done", the letter 't' appeared as a cross. On-screen text then stated "ghd. A new religion for hair".

c. The third ad showed five different scenes of women in their bedrooms, each woman looked upwards while their thoughts were heard; each woman's thoughts were in a different language. Two of the scenes were the same as those in ads (a) and (b) but with the women having different thoughts. Another one of the scenes showed a woman carrying a votive candle through to her bedroom before looking upwards. The last woman's thoughts were "Make him dump her tonight and come home with me" in English. Large on-screen text stated "ghd IV thy Will Be Done", the letter 't' appeared as a cross. On-screen text then stated "ghd. A new religion for hair".

Issue
The Archdeacon of Liverpool and 22 members of the public objected that the ads, particularly the use of the phrase "thy will be done" from the Lord's Prayer and the depiction of the letter 't' as a cross in 'thy', were offensive to the Christian faith.

BCAP TV Advertising Code: 6.1

Response
Jemella said they had not intended to cause offence. They asserted that the ads were intended to show a deeply held wish by a girl and her expression of a response to that wish. They maintained that the use of the word "thy" was to add drama and weight to the intensity of the girl's wishes.

Jemella argued that the phrase "thy will be done" was only a small part of the Lord's Prayer and was in relatively common usage. They maintained that phrases such as "turning the other cheek", "give us today our daily bread" and "lead me not into temptation" were also biblical phrases that were in common usage and had been used in previous advertising. They believed, although a small number of Christians might be offended by the phrase, the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

Jemella pointed out that a previous ASA adjudication had ruled that the claim 'thou shalt convert' in a ghd ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence. They argued that 'thou shalt convert' was similar in tone to 'thy will be done'. They also pointed out that they had used the strapline 'a new religion for hair' for ghd for the past seven years across all mediums.

Jemella asserted that they had not intended to cause offence by depicting the letter 't' as a cross. They said the typographic style was in keeping with the style of the current brand campaign and they believed it was unlikely to be offensive to Christianity. They said the television campaign had now finished and that they had slightly amended the image of the letter 't' for future ads.

Clearcast said they had approved ghd ads with a religious emphasis and the strapline "a new religion for hair" for the past seven years. They said, when they received the script for the ads, they took into account the heritage of the brand and the public perception of ghd through their marketing across all mediums. They noted the use of iconography had been present in previous ads in which halos, rings and religious looking books had all featured. They also pointed out that the ASA had previously not upheld complaints about Jemella's use of the phrase "thou shalt convert". They said "thou shalt not" had been a running theme in ghd ads and several previous ads had adopted the idea of adhering to ghd's rules or of invoking help with making a wish come true.

Clearcast believed the ads did not seek to mock any particular religion and contained language that had been used by ghd for the past seven years across all advertising mediums. They believed the depiction of the letter 't' was not intended to cause offence and appeared as a creative device in the same ambiguous vain as other symbolism used throughout ghd's ads. They said the bottom of the 't' became pointed to emphasise a difference to both the letter 't' and a cross.

Clearcast said they had taken a lot of factors into consideration before clearing the ads; they had considered the precedent, heritage, tone, previous investigations and possible offence at script stage and when viewing the finished ads. They said, although 23 people had objected to the ads, they were satisfied they had prevented anything being broadcast that would cause widespread offence.

Assessment
Upheld
The ASA acknowledged that ghd had been using the phrase "a new religion for hair" in their marketing for the past seven years. We considered that ghd's use of the word "religion" in that context did not mock faith or belief, but was intended to refer in the wider sense to an interest or hobby followed with devotion.

We noted, however, that the women in the ads appeared to be in prayer: their hands were clasped and they were looking upwards towards the sky. One was holding a votive candle and another was holding a set of beads that resembled rosary beads. We also noted the images of the women in their bedrooms, some of them in their underwear and others on their beds, were presented in a way that could be seen to be erotic.

We considered that the style of the letter t in the word "thy" closely resembled the Cross of Jesus. We considered that the phrase "thy will be done" from the Lords Prayer and the image of the letter t in the style of the Cross, were likely to have particular significance to members of the Christian faith.

We concluded that the eroticised images of the women apparently in prayer, in conjunction with religious symbols such as the votive candle and the rosary beads, the use of the phrase "thy will be done" from the Lords Prayer and the image of the letter t as the Cross of Jesus, were likely to cause serious offence, particularly to Christians.

The ads breached CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rule 6.1 (Offence).

Action
The ads must not be shown again in their current form.

[Captured: 12 March 2008 22:08:18]

###################
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 21852
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

#37 Postby Alan H » March 12th, 2008, 10:14 pm

And a pdychic one:
********************************************************************************
Zara
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications ... _44111.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ASA Adjudications
Zara
20 Albion Street
Broadstairs
Kent
CT10 1LU
Freya
20 Albion Street
Broadstairs
Kent
CT10 1LU
Number of complaints: 1

Date: 12 March 2008
Media: Magazine
Sector: Leisure
Ad
Two magazine ads, for psychic services, which appeared in the same publication.

a. Text in the first ad stated "ZARA UK'S PREMIER PSYCHIC ADVISOR ALL YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED AS SEEN ON TV ... POWERFUL SPELLS AVAILABLE ... I will cast a spell to grant your wish!" Small print under a telephone number stated "Convenient Pay By Telephone Service (24hrs)".

b. Text in the second ad stated "FREYA ... Inspired Psychic Predictions & Powerful Spells! Love Money Career Health & Family Concerns For Every Problem There Is A Solution ...".

Issue
The complainant, an ex-employee, challenged whether:

1. the ads were misleading, because they did not make clear that callers to both Zara and Freya would speak to the same people;

2. the claim "ZARA UK'S PREMIER PSYCHIC ADVISOR ..." in ad (a) was misleading, because she believed callers would not be able to speak to 'Zara'; and

3. the claim "... AS SEEN ON TV ..." in ad (a) could be substantiated.

The ASA challenged whether:

4. the claims "POWERFUL SPELLS ... I will cast a spell to grant your wish!" in ad (a) and "Powerful Spells Love Money Career Health & Family Concerns For Every Problem There Is A Solution!" in ad (b) were misleading and implied that the spells would be successful; and

5. the claim "PREMIER PSYCHIC ADVISOR" in ad (a) could be substantiated.

The CAP Code: 3.1;7.1;6.1

Response
1. Zara said 'Zara' was her 'psychic' name and trade name and therefore the name used in her ads. She said she was also a practising Wiccan and had a magical name, 'Freya'. She asserted that the Freya ad was aimed at those who had a specific interest in witchcraft. She asserted that no attempt was made to mislead and either her or her telephone operators were always honest about who was available; she said she always dealt with spell enquires herself.

2. Zara asserted that she did not speak to everyone who called but she did try and speak to as many people as possible. She asserted that if someone requested to speak to her directly she would always try to speak to them; if she was unavailable she would try to call them back as soon as possible.

3. Zara said she had featured in various TV programmes in the UK and USA over many years including ITV's 'Where There's Life', BBC's 'Wogan' and Channel 4's 'Big Breakfast'. Zara said she was still regularly contacted by the media.

4. Zara argued that her spells were powerful in that they harnessed positive energy and provided a focus through which her clients could instigate positive changes in their lives. She said everything in her spells was authentic: oils, powders, incense. She asserted that she used them to bring about positive changes in her clients lives and that her spells were 'powerful' in every sense of the word. Zara believed that the phrase "for every problem there is a solution" was a well-known saying. She maintained that there was a solution for every problem, if people looked for it. She said her role was to empower individuals and enable them to find solutions for themselves; she tried to inspire and uplift her clients. She said her main function was to find solutions in respect of problems and to help people to help themselves. She asserted that the terms 'Love, money, career, health & family concerns' referred to the various areas of clients' lives about which she was frequently consulted and tried to help resolve.

5. Zara said that, although there were other clairvoyants and clairvoyant services of good quality, she believed her experience of over 30 years practice and no previous complaint about her advertising or the quality of the service she provided, showed she was at the forefront of her profession. She argued that the word "premier" meant leading and claimed she was a leader in her field; she maintained she had been around longer than most other people in the industry.

Assessment
1. Upheld
The ASA noted the ads for Zara and Freya offered similar services and spells and appeared in the same publication. We considered that the ads suggested that they were for separate psychic services and therefore exaggerated the choice for readers, some of whom might want to ring more than one psychic service for advice, a prediction or a spell. On that basis, we concluded that the ads were misleading.

On this point, the ads breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 6.1 (Honesty) and 7.1 (Truthfulness).

2. Upheld
We considered that readers were likely to understand the claim "ZARA UK'S PREMIER PSYCHIC ADVISOR", particularly in conjunction with the claims "I will cast a spell to grant your wish" and "AS SEEN ON TV" to mean that they would speak personally to 'Zara'. We noted the service was available 24 hours a day and that the ad stated "Convenient Pay By Telephone Service (24hrs)" but considered that the overall impression of the ad was that callers would speak directly to 'Zara'. We noted that Zara did not speak to all callers and considered that the ad was therefore misleading.

On this point, ad (a) breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation) and 7.1 (Truthfulness).

3. Upheld
We noted Zara's assertion that she had appeared on numerous TV programmes. However, we noted the television programmes she listed were a number of years old having last been broadcast in 1989, 1992 and 2002. When we requested details of when she appeared on these programmes, Zara was not able to provide the information. We considered that the ad gave the impression that Zara appeared on TV recently. However, as we had not seen evidence to show that, we concluded the claim was likely to mislead.

On this point, ad (a) breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation) and 7.1 (Truthfulness).

4. Upheld
We considered that the claims "POWERFUL SPELLS ... I will cast a spell to grant your wish!" and "Powerful Spells Love Money Career Health & Family Concerns For Every Problem There Is A Solution!" were likely to be interpreted to mean that Zara and Freya's spells would be successful and would solve all problems and improve the health, wealth, love life, happiness or other circumstances of readers. We noted Zara's assertion that her spells could achieve that but considered that, because there was no evidence to support that, the claims were misleading.

On this point, the ads breached CAP Code clauses 6.1 (Honesty) and 7.1 (Truthfulness).

5. Upheld
We considered that the claim "PREMIER PSYCHIC ADVISOR" implied that Zara offered an objectively superior service to all other psychic advisors. We noted Zara's assertion that she had been operating longer than most other psychic advisors but considered that, because we had seen no comparative evidence to show that Zara offered an objectively superior service to all other psychic advisors, the claim was misleading.

On this point, the ads breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation) and 7.1 (Truthfulness).

Action
We told Zara to state clearly both trading names, Zara and Freya, in both of her ads if she published ads in the same publication. We also told her to remove the claims "UK'S PREMIER PSYCHIC ADVISOR", "AS SEEN ON TV ...", "POWERFUL SPELLS ... I will cast a spell to grant your wish!" and "Powerful Spells Love Money Career Health & Family Concerns For Every Problem There Is A Solution!". We advised Zara to seek advice from the CAP Copy Advice team before advertising in future.

Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)

[Captured: 12 March 2008 22:13:37]

###################
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 21852
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

#38 Postby Alan H » March 12th, 2008, 10:16 pm

This one is about claiming medical properties that can't be substantiated:
********************************************************************************
Numico Beheer BV
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications ... _44112.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ASA Adjudications
Numico Beheer BV t/a NutriPLUS
Dixcart House
Sir William Place
St. Peter Port
Guernsey
GY1 1GX
Number of complaints: 1

Date: 12 March 2008
Media: Direct mail
Sector: Leisure






Ad
A direct mailing, for Prime tablets, was headed "Prime '90 Day Free Trial' Test Certificate". Below, it stated "Savings of up to £21.00. Free book worth £9.95. 3 month Risk Free Trial ... The Prostate Healing Miracle That Flushes Prostate Problems Away, Protects Your Prostate, Eliminates Weak, Frequent Urination ... And Acts As A Natural Aphrodisiac. My sole aim is to help you get better and I'm convinced Prime will benefit you enormously. I so [sic] certain that Prime is going to make an astounding improvement to your life ... In the unlikely event Prime doesn't live up to your highest expectations during your risk free trial, just telephone or write in and you will receive a full and instant refund ... If on the other hand, Prime brings you the relief you've been waiting for, all I ask is you tell everyone you know how effective Prime is ...". At the bottom of the mailing was a promotional coupon, which stated " ... I guarantee that Prime is the very best prostate protector ever devised. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed ... (if) you find Prime makes a profound improvement to the health of your prostate, please spread the word to anyone you know who may be suffering prostate problems. Prime may help the [sic] get better too".

Issue
1. Essex Trading Standards believed the mailing was misleading because it claimed a cure for serious medical conditions.

The ASA challenged:

2. whether the mailing made medicinal claims for an unauthorised product; and

3. whether the mailing was irresponsible by offering advice and treatment for serious or prolonged medical conditions and potentially discouraging essential treatment.

The CAP Code: 2.2;50.3;50.11;50.20;50.2

Response
NutriPLUS said the mailing had been discontinued and was no longer being used and the offer was no longer valid.

Assessment
1.,2. & 3. Upheld
The ASA welcomed NutriPLUS's assurance that they were no longer using the mailing. We noted a Marketing Authorisation was needed from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) before marketers were able to make medicinal claims for their products and we understood that Prime was unlicensed. Because the mailing referred to serious medical conditions, made medicinal claims for an unauthorised product and could discourage consumers from seeking essential treatment for serious or prolonged medical conditions, we considered the mailing breached the Code.

The mailing breached CAP Code clauses 2.2 (Responsible advertising), 50.2 (Self-diagnosis), 50.3 (Discouragement of essential treatment), 50.11(Marketing authorisation) and 50.20 (Scientific substantiation).

Action
We told NutriPLUS to seek CAP Copy Advice before advertising again.

Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)

[Captured: 12 March 2008 22:15:13]

###################
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 21852
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

#39 Postby Alan H » March 12th, 2008, 10:17 pm

It's easy to complain and win against pseudo science — just ask for scientific evidence!
********************************************************************************
Spirit of Nature Ltd
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications ... _44116.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ASA Adjudications
Spirit of Nature Ltd
Unit 1 Hannah Way
Gordleton Industrial Park
Lymington
SO41 8JD
Number of complaints: 1

Date: 12 March 2008
Media: Catalogue
Sector: Leisure

Ad
An ad in a direct mail catalogue stated "Save on Fuel - Magno-Fuel. Save fuel and reduce CO2 your car emits! Simple clever device that saves up to 15% of your fuel thereby reducing pollution. Simply fix Magno-Fuel around the fuel line with the cable ties provided. Oxygen molecules will become embedded between the fuel molecules, ensuring a better combustion. Based on Bloch and Purcell research, who were awarded the Nobel prize for their work in this field. Suitable for petrol or diesel engines. See our website for more details."

Issue
The complainant believed that the ad was misleading because he understood that:

1. there were no significant numbers of oxygen molecules to be "embedded", otherwise the mixture would become explosive;

2. oxygen molecules could not be "embedded" between fuel molecules because fuel was a liquid; and

3. ordinary magnets could not produce the effects described. He believed the Bloch and Purcell research was in nuclear magnetic resonance and those effects could not be replicated by ordinary magnets.

The ASA challenged:

4. whether the claim that the device reduced fuel consumption by up to 15% and the associated claim that it would reduce a car's CO2 emissions could be substantiated.

The CAP Code: 3.1;7.1

Response
Spirit of Nature (SN) said the manufacturer of the Magno-Fuel device was a German company called Gertraud Engel e.K. They provided documents which they said they had on file from the manufacturer. Those consisted of a fact sheet which stated that tests had been carried out on the device in co-operation with a German-based Institute of Higher Studies. The manufacturers claimed the use of magnetic fields to improve the performance of combustion had been successfully used by the US Air Force in their Mustang aircraft, and by the British Royal Air Force in their Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft to allow greater range and better performance from poor quality fuel. They claimed the Magno fuel saving device worked, clamped to the fuel line of a vehicle, using "the principle of magnetically induced ionisation". They said the powerful magnetic field of the device acted on the nuclei of hydrocarbon fuel molecules and aligned them in relation to that field, allowing them to flow more evenly and therefore burn more efficiently. They also claimed the device accelerated the spin of the electrons moving around the nuclei of the fuel molecules, and said that produced "a net positive charge or positive ionisation" that further increased fuel efficiency by attracting greater bonding with negatively charged oxygen molecules, which allowed for more efficient and complete combustion. They provided figures from tests said to have been carried out on a number of vehicles using the Magno-Fuel device to indicate decreased CO2 emissions and also decreased fuel consumption.

Assessment
1. Upheld
The ASA noted SN had not sent any verifiable independent evidence to show that the Magno-Fuel device increased the oxygen "bonding" in the air/fuel mixture of the vehicle engines to which they were attached. The German-based Institute of Higher Studies mentioned in the manufacturer's documents was not named and no test results from independent laboratories were provided. We understood that the combination of oxygen and fuel could produce explosions with the help of an explosive charge. However, we also understood that one proposed way to increase the efficiency of combustion engines was to increase the oxygen concentration in the air/fuel mixture under controlled conditions. Because we had seen no evidence that the Magno-Fuel device did that, we concluded that claims that the device would ensure better combustion by increasing the amount of oxygen or the amount of oxygen "bonding" in the air/fuel mixture were misleading.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation) and 7.1 (Truthfulness).

2. Upheld
We understood that air and fuel were combined in an internal combustion engine, and in a petrol engine ignited using a carefully timed electrical spark whilst in a diesel engine ignited by means of the injection of fuel into compressed air. We understood that this process created a controlled burn which then produced gases at high temperature and pressure, causing the engine parts to move. We understood that whilst one proposed way to increase the efficiency of combustion engines was to increase the oxygen concentration in the air/fuel mixture, this was likely to produce greater pollution problems by increasing the emission of nitrous oxides. We considered that the term "embedded" in the ad implied that extra oxygen molecules would become solidly attached between fuel molecules. Because we understood that the mixing of liquid fuel and gaseous air under compression in a combustion engine did not involve the planting of oxygen molecules within the chemical structure of fuel molecules, but a chemical reaction, and because we had seen no evidence that the Magno-Fuel device affected the oxygen concentration or "bonding" in the air/fuel mixture of engines, we concluded that the claim "embedded" was misleading.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation) and 7.1 (Truthfulness).

3. Upheld
We noted SN did not send any evidence to demonstrate how ordinary magnets could produce the effects described. We understood that the very strong magnetic fields generated in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers could produce two different spin states in the nuclei of molecules, with a small difference in energy between them, and that this, combined with bombardment of the molecules by radio frequency radiation, was used by scientists to study the structure of compounds. We also understood that some molecules, including oxygen, depending on their internal electron composition, could be affected in the presence of magnetic fields. However, we understood that the Tesla was the standard unit used to measure the strength of magnets and that whilst the magnets used in NMR might have a strength of several Teslas, the magnets found in ordinary consumer products such as refrigerator magnets had the strength of roughly one ten thousandth of one Tesla. We noted SN did not provide any information as to the strength of the magnets in the device or any independent verifiable evidence to show that the magnets in the device, or any commercially available magnets, could affect the nuclear alignment of hydrocarbon fuel molecules or increase "carbon/oxygen bonding" in the air/fuel mixtures of vehicle engines as described in the manufacturer's literature. We also noted that fuel was mixed with air in the injection system or carburettor of an engine and not in the fuel line. We concluded therefore that the reference to Bloch and Purcell's Nobel Prize winning experiments in NMR were misleading.

On this point the ad breached 3.1 (Substantiation) and 7.1 (Truthfulness).

4. Upheld
We acknowledged that the manufacturer's evidence sent to us by SN included figures for tests said to have been carried out on a number of vehicles including an Audi, a Vectra, a Daimler Benz and a Volkswagen. We acknowledged these figures showed a reduction in fuel consumption in each case, of between 11 and 17% when the Magno-Fuel device was attached to the fuel line of the vehicle. However, those test results were unsourced and there was no evidence that they had been carried out by a reputable independent facility; the German-based Institute of Higher Studies mentioned in the manufacturer's documents was not named. Because of that, and because there was no clear methodology, no evidence of repeatability, no statistical analysis and no write-up by named independent experts, we concluded the evidence was insufficient to prove the claim that the device could reduce fuel consumption by up to 15%. We also considered that the associated claim the device reduced CO2 emissions had not been substantiated.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation) and 7.1 (Truthfulness).

Action
We welcomed Spirit of Nature's assurance that the ad would not be repeated and that they would ensure they held robust verifiable evidence for claims before marketing products in future.

Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)

[Captured: 12 March 2008 22:16:37]

###################
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 21852
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

#40 Postby Alan H » March 19th, 2008, 1:04 pm

This one shows how some advertisers try to use science and science-sounding phrases to con the gullible:
********************************************************************************
Nutri-Energetics Systems Ltd
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications ... _44159.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nutri-Energetics Systems Ltd
Unit B East House
Braeside Business Park
Sterte Avenue West
Poole
Dorset
BH15 2BX
Number of complaints: 1

Date: 19 March 2008
Media: Leaflet
Sector: Health and beauty

Ad
A leaflet, for Nutri-Energetics Systems (NES), stated "NES is a revolutionary approach to health, the culmination of 25 years of work into how physics explains biology - through the mapping of the quantum electrodynamics body-field ... the results are the first accurate map of the human body-field, which acts as the master control system for the physical body (like software on a computer), and the development of a clinical system for restoring optimum health." The leaflet went on to claim "When you take an Infoceutical as drops in water, the QED information acts as a magnetic signpost to the subatomic particles in your body-field; aligning these particles helps to restore optimal heath ... the NES software is able to 'read' your body-field and compare it to the optimum human body-field, which is encoded into the software. The NES Infoceuticals then provide the proper information (or software) to restore your body's proper functioning. The aspects of the human body-field that a screening reveals include: Major organ systems Environmental toxins Nutrition Musculoskeletal Emotional states Viruses/Bacteria Correction of these essential criteria can be vital in solving a wide range of complaints, including digestion, weight, muscular, nervous and skin problems as well as fatigue, headaches, and other health problems. After a short time using the Infoceuticals, most clients experience increased health, vitality, mental and emotional clarity." Testimonials from users stated "I started taking the Infoceuticals this morning and immendiately felt things happening... the depression, or feeling that there is something awfully wrong with me, lifted in minutes" , "I especially have more energy and am experiencing continued improvement with chronic systemic conditions" ,"a revolutionary way of creating a healing space not only for the very ill, but also for those who want to keep a good state of health ... I have gained a clarity, a detachment and an enthusiasm I had years ago and had lost due to years of ill health."

Issue
1. The complainant challenged whether the NES system could map the quantum electrodynamics body-field and treat medical and other health-related conditions as claimed.

2. The ASA challenged whether the leaflet was likely to discourage consumers from seeking essential medical treatment for serious or prolonged medical conditions.

The CAP Code: 3.1;7.1;50.1;50.19;50.3

Response
NES said the leaflet had been produced several years ago and continued to be circulated by some of their practitioners. They acknowledged that it did not meet their own current rigorous marketing standards. They said they would make every effort to discourage practitioners from using the leaflet, and they sought to comply with all ASA standards and would welcome advice on how they could do that.

1. NES said quantum biology was a young but growing science. They explained that their researcher, Peter Fraser, had studied the dynamics of what he called the "human body-field", and his studies grew out of more conventional academic research that explored quantum processes in the body. They said both his work, and quantum physics in general, came about due to the accumulation of data that was not well explained by current theory. They argued that although his research was considered frontier science, it paralleled work done in more conventional arenas and grew out of accepted complementary health fields such as acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. NES sent a copy of a publication by Peter Fraser entitled Decoding the Human Body-Field. They said his independent research, carried out over nearly thirty years, used modified electrodermal screening equipment and analogues of body tissue, elements and minerals, which he tested to see if there were energetic and informational links between them, a QED field, or another communication mechanism that was below the level of cellular and biochemical mechanisms already known to biologists. They said he was able to construct a map or template of such links that indicated there was a systems-wide network, operating at the below-cell level, theoretically the level of quantum physics.

NES said they were still a young company and had not yet carried out clinical studies, although a double blind-study was planned to begin in February 2008. They said the first academically-sanctioned pilot study, carried out at Holos University, showed a statistically significant effect on how people coped with chronic stress after using the NES Infoceuticals. They sent a copy of the pilot study.

NES asserted that they did not claim that the product had a direct cause-effect relationship with the body or disease, but rather that it affected only the energy and information of the body-field. They said their research suggested that by correcting the information and energy in the body-field, the body's own self-healing capabilities were naturally strengthened and the body could then correct itself. They maintained that unlike pharmaceuticals, their product did not affect the cellular mechanism at the physiological level or the physical body directly in any way. They added that their marketing materials stated that their software assessed only the human body-field, that the Infoceuticals represented the informational aspects of the optimal human body-field and not anything in the physical body. They said they no longer used the word "optimal" in their advertising. They acknowledged that the section of their ad that described the aspects of the body-field revealed by a screening might be confusing to consumers by seeming to make a cause-effect case rather than the correct correlative case, and said they had striven to correct that in later leaflets.

NES said the evidence for the effect of the Infoceuticals was mostly anecdotal, in the form of testimonials, apart from the Holos study, which had not been available when they produced the leaflet.

2. NES disagreed that the leaflet discouraged people from choosing whichever form of healthcare they wanted. They said they did not claim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease, and did not suggest that people should not consult healthcare practitioners or seek medical attention for their health problems. They added that they did not offer any advice about choosing one particular form of healthcare over another, and that most of their company literature stated that the Infoceuticals were compatible with pharmaceuticals, herbs, and supplements, and that there was no need for anyone who chose to use NES to stop any kind of health care they were using. They said they included a disclaimer notice, which due to an oversight had been left off the leaflet in question, that stated that NES "does not diagnose, cure, prevent or treat disease. If you have a medical condition or concern, please consult the appropriate healthcare professional. NES and its claims have not been evaluated by any government agency or regulatory organization."

Assessment
1. Upheld
The ASA noted the research undertaken by NES. We also noted they referred to studies that suggested that there was evidence for the quantum-level functions of the body and that there might be a systems-wide communications network that operated at a subcellular level. We noted, however, their comments that the field was still in its infancy and that the concept of such a network was not generally accepted by conventional scientists. We also noted the pilot study suggested the Infoceuticals had a beneficial effect on stress, but we understood that there had not yet been controlled clinical trials that might prove effectiveness by accounting for a possible placebo effect.

We considered that we had not seen adequate evidence that the human body-field existed and could be mapped, or that the Infoceuticals could align subatomic particles to restore the body's functioning as claimed. We acknowledged NES's argument that the ad mentioned only the body-field and claimed no direct relationship with the body or disease. We considered, however that claims such as "a clinical system for restoring optimum health", "restore your body's proper functioning", "resolving a wide range of complaints" and "After a short time using the Infoceuticals most clients experience increased health ..." would lead readers to believe the product would improve their health and treat the conditions mentioned. We concluded that the leaflet was likely to mislead.

On this point, the leaflet breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 50.1 (Health & Beauty products and therapies).

2. Upheld
We noted the testimonials made reference to serious or prolonged conditions, for example: depression; "improvement with chronic systemic conditions"; "years of ill health"; and to "a healing space not only for the very ill". We considered the leaflet implied that NES could treat those conditions. We concluded that it could discourage readers from seeking advice from a suitably qualified practitioner for those conditions.

On this point, the leaflet breached CAP Code clauses 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 50.3 (Health & Beauty products and therapies).

Action
The ad should not reappear in its current form. We told NES to ensure they held evidence to support their claims before they published future ads. We also told them not to refer to serious or prolonged medical conditions. We welcomed their intention to consult the CAP Copy Advice team when devising future ads.

Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)

[Captured: 19 March 2008 13:03:01]

###################
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 21852
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

#41 Postby Alan H » March 19th, 2008, 1:07 pm

********************************************************************************
Bioinduction Ltd
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications ... _44149.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bioinduction Ltd t/a Acticare
178 - 180 Hotwell Road
Bristol
BS8 4RP
Number of complaints: 1

Date: 19 March 2008
Media: National press
Sector: Health and beauty

Ad
A national press ad feature, for an electrical device called Acticare, was headed "The 250 Volt Charge that Relieves Pain by Peter Trueman". It described the experiences of Caroline Harrison, who suffered "constant pain" after a collar bone injury and which "melted away" after she used the Acticare device for an hour. Further text claimed " ... Arthritis pains affect 8 million people in the UK and four out of five adults will experience back pain ... Acticare is a drug free therapy that provides symptomatic relief from many types of pain. Many users have been bowled over by its effectiveness. A survey of 324 patients found that 72% of respondents said their pain levels were reduced by more than half ... Acticare may help provide relief for multiple pains simultaneously ... Tony Eaton, a Backcare helpline advisor comments 'I suffer from bouts of disabling Sciatica, but Acticare helps me get mobile again whenever I have a relapse and has enabled me to live my life again to the full.' ... Acticare is safe to use in the home, but it should not be used to treat undiagnosed pains as it may mask the pain of an underlying condition. We recommend that you consult your doctor before varying your pain medication or for the treatment of anything other than minor aches and pains...".

Issue
The complainant challenged whether Acticare could substantiate that the product provided general pain relief and treated the conditions referred to in the ad.

The CAP Code: 3.1;7.1;50.1;50.4;50.7;50.3

Response
Bioinduction said their product was a transcutaneous electrical neurotransmitter (TENS) device, as defined by the statutory bodies the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority (MHRA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), that was used to relieve pain. They said the FDA had determined that TENS machines were suitable for the symptomatic relief of chronic, intractable pain and for the management of pain associated with post-traumatic or post-surgical conditions. They said there had been no specific clinical trials conducted on the device, but that a large number of medical papers about TENS devices had been published. They acknowledged that there were differing opinions about the quality of the research amongst academics, but believed there was a growing body of evidence to support the efficacy of TENS. They explained that a patient survey was carried out by an independent consultant on 324 people who used the Acticare device for 3 months. They said 7% of respondents reported "complete" relief and 65% reported "greater than 50% relief" of their symptoms. Bioinduction sent signed letters from Caroline Harrison and Tony Eaton, which confirmed that they had made the testimonials in the ad.

Bioinduction believed TENS therapy was endorsed by the majority of doctors and that 90% of pain clinics in the UK performed TENS therapies. They said 84% of the 362 members of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) surveyed in 2000 considered TENS therapies to be legitimate medical practice. Bioinduction also stated that the core curriculum of the IASP taught that TENS reduced pain in many different types of acute and chronic pain conditions including, for example, low back pain and arthritic pain, and that the regulatory authorities and world-wide clinical practice supported that position. They sent a copy of a paper which they said was the largest meta-analysis conducted on the subject that studied the reduction in painkiller consumption following surgical procedures. The paper showed that, in the 11 trials where an optimal dose of TENS treatment was used, a mean weighted reduction in painkiller consumption of 35.5% was measured compared with a placebo.

Bioinduction provided several quotes from an expert. The quotes said TENS treatments could be used for the management of chronic and intractable pain, lower back pain, nerve-damage pain, sympathetically maintained pain and neurogenic pain. Bioinduction said TENS was used in the treatment of arthritis. They sent a copy of a medical paper which reported on the effect of TENS on pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee and concluded "TENS and AL-TENS are shown to be effective in pain control over placebo in this review..." and "TENS and AL-TENS over at least four weeks are effective for pain control and relief of knee stiffness in osteoarthritis". In support of TENS relieving acute pain, they sent studies on post-traumatic hip pain and lower back pain during emergency transport. In support of TENS relieving chronic pain, they sent a meta-analysis which they claimed strongly supported TENS as a pain intervention for musculoskeletal conditions in all regions of the body. They referred to several other studies that they had previously submitted to the CAP Copy Advice team. Bioinduction said the MHRA, via their notified body SGS, had approved the device as an "electro-stimulator for pain relief". They said the device had 11 standard modes of operation, eight of which were labelled as TENS and three as TSE (transcutaneous spinal electroanalalgesia). They explained that TSE as inplemented in Acticare was part of the spectrum of TENS waveforms. They sent a report that compared the modes of Acticare with other legally marketed TENS devices.

They said they understood that CAP did not generally accept that TENS could be used to treat chronic pain. They said the ad was based on copy submitted to CAP for approval and that they had worked closely with CAP over a period of weeks. They argued that they were aware of the risk of discouraging consumers from seeking essential treatment and that every customer that ordered products from the helpline was asked if their condition had been diagnosed by their GP. They said they encouraged customers to consult their GP or physiotherapist for advice about use of the product. They pointed out that the ad advised customers to consult their doctor for undiagnosed pains, and for the treatment of anything other than minor aches and pains, and not to vary their medication without advice from their doctor. Bioinduction acknowledged that their device was not always effective and pointed out that that was true of all pain interventions, including painkillers. They said they offered customers a full refund for products returned within 28 days.

Bioinduction said they recently undertook a more rigorous assessment of the efficacy of the device. They sent out two standard validated Brief Pain Inventory questionnaires that they said were widely used in pain studies. The first was enclosed with the device and a follow-up was sent one month later, and both asked people to rate their pain as a Visual Analogue Score (VAS). Bioinduction said their analysis of the 141 results indicated that Acticare was an effective pain intervention when used in the home environment. They explained that people who used the low power TENS modalities showed a reduction in VAS scores of 28%, those using the higher power and higher frequency TSE1 modality a 36% reduction and those using TSE1 centrally over the spine a 43% reduction. They added that they removed all references to Tony Eaton's testimonial and to sciatica in April 2007.

Assessment
Upheld
The ASA noted from the Acticare website and from the product specification sent by the advertisers that the device had two modes; one for TENS and the other for TSE. We also noted the ad made claims such as "The ... device generates a high voltage, high frequency electronic pulse that has ten times the power output of TENS machines and penetrates deep tissues, but because of the very short pulses it causes only a mild tingling sensation" and "Unlike most TENS machines where adhesive pads are placed at the site of the pain, Acticare's adhesive electrodes are placed at the top and bottom of your spine for pain originating from legs, hips and back, or at either side of the neck for pain found in the shoulders, arms, neck and head". We considered that those properties appeared to relate to TSE rather than TENS treatment. We noted a similar ad had been submitted to CAP Copy Advice and advice had been given that the product could be advertised within the scope of CAP's accepted claims for TENS devices. We also noted Copy Advice had told Bioinduction that any complaints about the ad were unlikely to be upheld as long as they possessed factual evidence to support their claims.

We considered that, even if it promoted merely the benefits of the TENS mode of the Acticare device, the ad made claims that went further than those generally accepted for TENS. We noted Bioinduction had sent a paper which concluded that TENS was an effective treatment over placebo for pain control and relief of knee stiffness. We also noted the meta-analysis of randomised placebo-controlled trials that showed TENS, and in particular the use of high levels of current, reduced painkiller consumption for post-operative pain. We noted the meta-analysis of TENS in the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain. We noted the comments Bioinduction had provided from an expert, but considered that they did not support the efficacy of TENS in treating chronic pain. We understood that TENS devices could be used to treat minor aches and pains, but we also understood that although some studies accepted the efficacy of TENS for pain relief, there was not a general consensus among experts that a sufficient body of evidence existed to substantiate the effectiveness of TENS treatment.

We took expert advice on the evidence sent by Acticare. Our expert commented that the evidence did not support the advertised claims, and that, in general, the evidence on efficacy of TENS in chronic pain, or acute pain, was so weak as not to be supportive of any pain relief claim.

We considered that readers would understand the references to "years of pain", "constant throbbing" and "constant pain" in Caroline Harrison's testimonial to be references to chronic pain and would believe the Acticare device could treat chronic pain. We noted Tony Eaton's testimonial stated "I suffer from bouts of disabling Sciatica, but Acticare helps me get mobile" and considered that readers would understand that the Acticare device could treat sciatica. We considered that, because we had not seen product-specific evidence to show that Acticare could treat chronic pain, sciatica or arthritis, both testimonials were likely to mislead readers. We also considered the patient surveys were insufficient to support the general pain relief claim. Although readers were advised not to use the device for undiagnosed conditions, we considered that the ad implied that Acticare was suitable for treating serious or prolonged medical conditions. We concluded that the ad was likely to mislead.

The ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness), 50.1, 50.3, 50.4 and 50.7 (Health & beauty products and therapies - General)

Action
The ad should not reappear in its current form.

Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)

[Captured: 19 March 2008 13:06:56]

###################
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?


Return to “Sciences and pseudo-science”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest