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
User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Advertising Standards Authority

#1 Postby Alan H » August 8th, 2007, 12:57 pm

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.

Please feel free to comment here or start a new thread to discuss a particular one.

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Tian Tian (U.K.) Ltd t/a Dr & Herbs

#2 Postby Alan H » August 8th, 2007, 12:58 pm

This was one of the first adjudications I won and was against the High Street chain Dr & Herbs.
Last edited by Alan H on September 22nd, 2009, 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Adjudication moved - URL updated.

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Herbmedic

#3 Postby Alan H » August 8th, 2007, 1:00 pm

The adjudication I won against Herbmedic.
Last edited by Alan H on September 22nd, 2009, 6:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Adjudication moved - URL updated.

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

The Body Detox Clinic

#4 Postby Alan H » August 8th, 2007, 1:02 pm

This adjudication was published today (not one of mine!).

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

#5 Postby Alan H » August 8th, 2007, 1:04 pm

The ASA codes for both broadcast and non-broadcast advertising can be found here.

Their briefing on Taste and Decency - depiction of religion.

Their rules on Religion, Faith and Related Systems of Belief.

Broadcasting rules on SECTION 10: RELIGION, FAITH AND SYSTEMS OF BELIEF.

There is a lot more religion, including a help note on religious offence! Search for religion.

User avatar
GPJ
Posts: 40
Joined: August 1st, 2007, 5:35 pm

#6 Postby GPJ » August 9th, 2007, 4:39 pm

I recently received this government response to a petition on the No.10 site that was against misleading advertising by religious groups:

http://www.pm.gov.uk:80/output/Page12841.asp

No change necessary according to them. Complacency.

I get regular circulars through my door from all sorts of local "gurus" claiming to be able to solve all your problems, even black magic jujus. I suppose these people make money from local African immigrants (we have had a lot of Somali immigrants recently).
George Jelliss

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

#7 Postby Alan C. » August 9th, 2007, 4:52 pm

GPJ wrote:I recently received this government response to a petition on the No.10 site that was against misleading advertising by religious groups:

http://www.pm.gov.uk:80/output/Page12841.asp

No change necessary according to them. Complacency.

I get regular circulars through my door from all sorts of local "gurus" claiming to be able to solve all your problems, even black magic jujus. I suppose these people make money from local African immigrants (we have had a lot of Somali immigrants recently).
I got that same e-mail yesterday, I sign so many of these on line petitions, and non of them ever achieve anything, I'm, beginning to think they're a waste of time.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

#8 Postby Alan H » August 30th, 2007, 10:39 am

An ASA adjudication published today. The complainee frequently doesn't respond, therefore they almost automatically lose!


********************************************************************************
Mr Taslimi
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications ... _43098.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ASA Adjudication

Mr Taslimi
41A Upton Lane
Forest Gate
London
E7 9PA

Number of complaints: 1

Date: 29 August 2007
Media: Leaflet
Sector: Leisure

Ad

A leaflet was headlined "MR. TASLIMI SPIRITUAL HEALER / ADVISOR". Text continued "When you come to see me, I will tell you your problems and what is in your heart/mind and what you are going to do in near future [sic] ... I can solve all you [sic] problems: Bring back your loved ones, Sexual problems, Black Magic, Protection, Marriage problems, Business problems, Bad Spirit and Voodoo, help you with playing games etc.. RESULT IN 7 DAYS ...".

Issue
The complainant, who received the leaflet through her letter box, challenged whether its claims could be substantiated and believed it could mislead and exploit vulnerable people.


The CAP Code: 3.1;7.1;6.1;2.6

Response
Mr Taslimi did not respond to the ASAs enquiries.

Assessment
Upheld
The ASA was concerned by Mr Taslimi's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code clause 2.6 (Non-response). We reminded him of his responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told him to do so in future.

In the absence of any response or evidence to substantiate the claims made in the leaflet, we considered that the approach used had not been justified. We concluded that the leaflet was misleading and could exploit vulnerable people.

The ad breached CAP Code clauses 2.6 (Non-response), 3.1 (Substantiation), 6.1 (Honesty) and 7.1 (Truthfulness).

Action
We told Mr Taslimi to stop distribution of the leaflet with immediate effect and not to repeat any of its claims in future marketing. We urged him to seek guidance from the CAP Copy Advice team before advertising again and asked CAP to inform its media members of the problem with Mr Taslimi.

[Captured: 30 August 2007 10:36:16]

###################

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

#9 Postby Alan H » August 30th, 2007, 10:47 am

Another one. Note that the complainee did not supply scientific evidence of their claims nor proper evidence of their testimonials, so they lost. They also made medical claims for an unlicensed product. Note in this one that the ASA added their own complaints!


********************************************************************************
Health & Living Foundation
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications ... _43092.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ASA Adjudication

Health & Living Foundation
405 Kings Road
London
SW10 0BB

Number of complaints: 1

Date: 29 August 2007
Media: Direct mail
Sector: Health and beauty

Ad
A direct mailing for a health tonic called Micro Life Source, stated on the front "Discover the cure for premature ageing, pain, aches, illness and disease in 90 days, guaranteed! Or your money back. Join the millions who are daily being relieved of pain and illness and are returning themselves to a state of vibrant health with Ionic Life Force". Further text inside the mailing stated " ... there's been a year-on year decline for the past several decades in both our nutritional status and overall health! Why? Because over-farming, pollution, growth hormones, and global warming are a growing nutritional curse that's causing malnutrition, illness exhaustion, and premature ageing on a near epidemic scale ... Now there's a simple new breakthrough solution that can help prevent and even reverse this shocking situation ... Micro Life source Minerals is the most effective and advanced mineral supplement available today to replenish the body's critical supply of macro and trace minerals as well as protect your health and greatly reduce your risk of arthritis, diabetes, premature ageing and a host of other illnesses ... Numerous studies have clinically proven that the minerals in Micro Life Source can repair cell damage and clear the body of many debilitating ailments, including: Immune System disorders, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Arthritis, Diabetes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Prostate problems, Depression, Lethargy, Sexual problems ... all of which, according to the latest scientific studies, many believe can clearly be greatly reduced or prevented and sometimes even eliminated completely simply by consistently ingesting bio-available minerals in the correct amounts ... I can show you how to protect your health and reverse premature ageing, Now". A leaflet enclosed with the mailing featured four testimonials from doctors and several testimonials from consumers.

Issue
1. The complainant challenged whether the mailing was misleading, because he believed the claims could not be substantiated.

The ASA challenged whether:

2. the testimonials were genuine;

3. the references to serious medical conditions could discourage essential treatment and

4. the mailing was making unauthorised medicinal claims.
The CAP Code: 3.1;7.1;50.3;50.1;50.21;6.1;14.1;14.3;50.20

Response
Health & Living Foundation provided information about the ingredients of Micro Life Source. They said it contained water, Fucus veseculosus (10%), spirulina (1%), disodium, phosphates, citric acid and preservative potassium sorbate. They said Fucus veseulosus and spirulina were rich in minerals, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, phosphorous and iron. Health & Living Foundation provided a summary of information from various websites about each of those minerals, including information on their effects and benefits. For example they provided information from an online encyclopaedia, which summarised the characteristics and applications of phosphorous.

Assessment
1. Upheld
The ASA noted Health & Living Foundation had provided information about the characteristics and benefits of the minerals which they asserted were contained within the ingredients of Micro Life Source. However, we noted they had not sent evidence to substantiate the claimed benefits of Micro Life Source or its efficacy in treating the listed conditions. We understood that the information, downloaded from websites, merely claimed that certain minerals could be beneficial for some ailments. We considered that the information was not sufficient to substantiate the claims.

We also noted Health & Living Foundation had not provided evidence to support the other claims in the mailing, for example "Because over-farming, pollution, growth hormones, and global warming are a growing nutritional curse that's causing malnutrition, illness, exhaustion, and premature ageing on a near-epidemic scale" and "Over-farming has depleted our soil, which in turn has resulted in nutrient and mineral-deficient product. The practice of refining and adding preservatives ... has left us with foods that are barely nutritious enough to keep us alive".

In the absence of objective substantiation to support the claims in the mailing, we concluded that it was misleading.

On this point, the mailing breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 6.1 (Honesty), 7.1 (Truthfulness), 50.1 (Health and beauty products and therapies) 50.20 and 50.21 (Vitamins, minerals and other food supplements).

2. Upheld
We noted Health & Living Foundation had not provided signed and dated proof for the testimonials in the mailing. We also noted they had not provided evidence to substantiate the claims within the testimonials about the efficacy of Micro Life Source. We concluded that Health & Living Foundation had not substantiated that the testimonials in the leaflet were genuine.

On this point, the mailing breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 6.1 (Honesty), 7.1 (Truthfulness), 14.1, 14.3 (Testimonials and endorsements) and 50.1 (Health and beauty products and therapies).

3. & 4. Upheld
We considered that the references to immune system disorders, arthritis, diabetes, prostate problems and depression, which were serious medical conditions, could discourage essential treatment. We also noted the mailing stated that Micro Life Source could "clear the body of many debilitating ailments" and "cure ... pain, aches, illness and disease ..." We therefore considered that the mailing used medicinal claims to promote an unlicensed product, which was a breach of the Code.

On this point, the mailing breached CAP Code clauses 50.3 (Health and beauty products and therapies), 50.11 (Medicines) and 50.21 (Vitamins, minerals and other food supplements).

Action
We told Health & Living Foundation to withdraw the mailing and advised them to seek guidance from the CAP Copy Advice team for their future advertising.

[Captured: 30 August 2007 10:43:22]

###################

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

#10 Postby Alan H » August 30th, 2007, 11:03 am

One from a few weeks ago. This illustrates how some advertisers attempt to blind the public with science and play on their fears. Unfortunately, given the state of public scientific knowledge, many may well be taken in with this nonsense.


********************************************************************************
Clarins (UK) Ltd
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications ... _43024.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ASA Adjudication

Clarins (UK) Ltd
10 Cavendish Place
London
W1G 9DN

Number of complaints: 6

Date: 15 August 2007
Media: National press, Magazine, Leaflet
Sector: Health and beauty

Ad
A magazine and national press ad and a leaflet for Expertise 3P (Poly Pollution Protection).

a. The magazine and national press ad stated "If electromagnetic waves can penetrate walls, imagine what they can do to your skin. Today, electromagnetic waves generated by a host of modern day electronic devices join a list of well-known pollutants which can damage skin. For the first time, Clarins Research reveals the link between exposure to artificial electromagnetic waves and accelerated skin ageing.* Clarins introduces Expertise 3P (Poly Pollution Protection). WORLDWIDE FIRST. Clarins Expertise 3P Exceptional plant extracts with super-adapting powers against all types of pollution: Thermus Thermophillus from the ocean and Rhodiola Rosea from Siberia. Together with free radical fighters, White Tea and Succory Dock-Cress, they form an advanced anti-pollution complex to help maintain skin's health and beauty. Innovative skin protection for today's world. *Clarins discovery. The subject of a scientific research paper." Underneath the text was a photograph of a bottle of the product; text on the bottle stated " ... Anti-Electromagnetic Waves & Urban Pollution Screen Mist".

b. The leaflet stated "Worldwide First Expertise 3P ... If electromagnetic waves can penetrate walls, imagine what they can do to your skin. For the first time, the link between accelerated skin ageing and exposure to artificial electromagnetic waves generated by the modern world has been revealed. So has the solution on how to stop it. Expertise 3P Look Beautiful and feel good in todays world. Expertise 3P is a new youth and beauty routine to help protect the skin against all kinds of modern pollution and for the first time in cosmetics, it also protects against artificial electromagnetic waves* generated by domestic communications equipment. It is the most advanced protection that preserves the skins youthful qualities and radiance ... Domestic communications equipment used to transmit sound and images has revolutionized our daily lives but what are the artificial electromagnetic waves they generate doing to our skin? For the very first time, Clarins Research, in collaboration with a University Research Institute, has demonstrated the effects these waves can have on our skin. This pollution by artificial electromagnetic waves is now added to daily urban pollution (car emissions, industrial smoke, acid rain...) as well as domestic pollution (air that is not renewed often, certain types of paint, synthetic carpeting, toxic cleansing products, cigarette smoke...)." Small print underneath stated "* Electromagnetic waves are a form of energy. There are several different types and their spectrum is vast (cosmic rays, UV rays, daylight, microwaves etc ...)." The main text went on to state ... This Clarins discovery became the subject of a scientific publication. Clarins Study** focused on artificial electromagnetic waves and revealed that only a few hours of exposure was enough to note an increase in free radical production, a slow down in cellular renewal and a modification in the skins natural barrier ...". Small print underneath stated "** in-vitro test". The following page showed a photograph of a bottle of the product; text on the bottle stated " ... Anti-Electromagnetic Waves & Urban Pollution Screen Mist".

Issue
Six complainants challenged whether:

1. Clarins could substantiate the claim that electromagnetic waves, generated by modern day devices or "domestic communications equipment", could damage or age skin;

2. the implied anti-ageing and pro-health efficacy claims for the product, including the claim on the bottle "Anti-Electromagnetic Waves", could be substantiated and

3. the ads made an undue appeal to readers fear of the harm that could be caused by man-made electromagnetic waves.
The CAP Code: 3.1;7.1;9.1;50.1;50.7

Response
1. Clarins asserted that they had been studying invisible pollution in the skins environment for many years. They had looked at electromagnetic waves produced by different types of domestic communications equipment and their effects on the skin; that study had been long and complex, because they had needed to create an area which could isolate cells to such a degree that they would be exposed only to the selected waves and specific wavelengths they wanted to study. They asserted that cell cultures had been exposed, for varying periods of time in an isolated room, to a frequency of 900 MHz which, they argued, was the most commonly used frequency for communications transmissions. They said they had then measured different features of the life of those cells and noted the changes that could affect skin quality. They argued that the conclusions of their study showed an increased production of free radicals which led to accelerated skin ageing, a slow down in cellular renewal, an increase in stress indicators and a deterioration in the skins natural protective barrier.

Clarins submitted scientific studies on the influence of electromagnetic waves on skin cells. They also sent results of the roles of active ingredients working against the damages identified on cells after irradiation.

2. Clarins referred again to the scientific studies they had sent. They said skin was their area of expertise and, therefore, they were interested only in how electromagnetic waves might affect the skin. They argued that they had not said man-made electromagnetic waves were harmful; they had merely identified an effect on the metabolism of the epidermis cells and how they could try to neutralize those consequences.

Clarins asserted that the role of the product was not to block the waves but to provide skin cells with active ingredients that were proven to reinforce the skins self-defence capacity against the damages identified after exposure to electromagnetic waves. They said electromagnetic waves produced by sunbeds were not part of their studies; they did not advocate the use of sunbeds because of the documented harmful effects of UV rays. They said Expertise 3P did not contain UV protection and they would recommend it was used in conjunction with a product with a sun protection factor if the user were to be exposed to UV rays.

3. Clarins argued that the ads were factual and informative and did not make an undue appeal to readers' fear of the harm that could be caused by man-made electromagnetic waves.

Assessment
The ASA took expert advice. The expert said the tests had all been carried out in vitro, not in vivo. He said he would expect evidence for products such as Expertise 3P to have been carried out in vivo, because in vitro trials were imperfect as models of human skin. The expert said the test parameters of many of the studies were questionable in their relevance to exposure to radiation. The expert said there was no evidence that, when applied in vivo, the product gave any anti-ageing, or other, benefits. He also pointed out that the studies showed only the effects of emissions from mobile phones on skin cells. Some of the studies showed the effects of mobile phones on cells following six hours of continuous exposure; others on the effects following 24 hours of continuous exposure. He said the test results showed that any effects occurred only after 24 hours continuous exposure; there was no evidence of the cumulative effect on skin cells of repeated exposure in smaller doses.

The expert also pointed out that one of the studies looked at the effects of an unspecified product on keratinocytes placed in contact with exhaust gases from a motor; the exposure time was two hours. He believed the parameters of the study were not sufficiently defined; the study did not clarify the type of motor, the type of fuel, whether a catalytic converter was in place or whether the cells were exposed to air or another source of oxygen. He said they used cultures, fully hydrated, without an efficient surface barrier or surface oils and therefore not accurately replicating skin, as exposed in the environment. The expert said there was no evidence that, when applied topically in vivo, the ingredient used on its own, or formulated in a product, would have any beneficial effect.

The expert believed the studies sent by Clarins were not robust enough to substantiate the implied anti-ageing and pro-health efficacy claims made for Expertise 3P.

1. Upheld
We noted the scientific studies sent by Clarins looked at the effect on skin cells of electromagnetic waves from mobile phones. We understood that a number of man-made products, including radios, TVs, microwave ovens and laptops, emitted electromagnetic waves. We considered that the ads, particularly the claims ... electromagnetic waves generated by a host of modern day electronic devices join a list of well-known pollutants which can damage skin" in ad (a) and "Domestic communications equipment used to transmit sound and images has revolutionized our daily lives but what are the artificial electromagnetic waves they generate doing to our skin? ... Clarins Research ... has demonstrated the effects these waves can have on our skin" in ad (b) implied that a number of man-made electronic and domestic communications devices had been shown to damage skin. We considered that, because the evidence Clarins had sent referred only to mobile phones, they had not substantiated that electromagnetic waves generated by a number of modern day devices or domestic communications equipment could damage or age skin.

In addition, we noted some studies were based on exposure to radiation from a simulated mobile phone for six hours and other studies used a constant 24-hour exposure. We considered that neither of those time periods were representative of typical consumer experience. We also understood that mobile phones would age, if anything, only a very small area of the bodys skin, around the ear, and were also likely to affect only one side of the face, yet there was no evidence of such ageing effects on consumers, despite mobile phones having been popular for some time. We noted the studies had all been carried out in vitro, not in vivo. We considered that the studies were not robust enough to substantiate that electromagnetic waves generated by mobile phones could damage or age skin.

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

2. Upheld
We considered that the ads, particularly the claims "super-adapting powers against all types of pollution", "Poly Pollution Protection", "anti-pollution complex" and "skin protection for todays world" in ad (a), "Anti-Electromagnetic Waves" and "Urban Pollution Screen Mist" in ads (a) and (b) and " ... help protect the skin against all kinds of modern pollution", "advanced protection that preserves the skins youthful qualities", "This pollution ... is now added to daily urban pollution (car emissions, industrial smoke, acid rain ...) as well as domestic pollution (air that is not renewed often, certain types of paint, synthetic carpeting, toxic cleansing products, cigarette smoke ...)" and " ... the solution on how to stop it" in ad (b), in conjunction with the claims about skin ageing and damage, implied the product would protect consumers from the ageing effects of all electromagnetic waves and from the damaging effects of everyday pollution. We noted the studies sent by Clarins were carried out only on exposure to electromagnetic waves from mobile phones. We understood that there were many types of electromagnetic waves including man-made, ultraviolet rays, gamma rays and X-rays. We considered that, because Clarins had not sent evidence relating to different types of electromagnetic waves, they had not substantiated the implication that the product would protect people from the effects of all electromagnetic waves. We also noted Clarins had sent a study on only one type of pollution - exhaust fumes; the expert considered the parameters of that study were insufficient and there was no evidence that, when applied topically in vivo, the ingredient used on its own, or formulated in a product, would have any beneficial effect. We considered that Clarins had not substantiated that the product could protect against everyday pollution.

We also noted the studies had all been carried out in vitro, not in vivo. The experts view was that, to support the claims made for Expertise 3P, the studies should have been carried out in vivo. We concluded that the evidence was not robust enough to substantiate the implied anti-ageing and pro-health efficacy claims for Expertise 3P.

On this point, the ads breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness), 50.1 and 50.7 (Health & beauty products and therapies - General).

3. Upheld
We considered that the ads, particularly the claims "If electromagnetic waves can penetrate walls, imagine what they can do to your skin" in ads (a) and (b), "Today, electromagnetic waves generated by a host of modern day electronic devices join a list of well-known pollutants which can damage skin" in ad (a) and "the link between accelerated skin ageing and exposure to artificial electromagnetic waves generated by the modern world has been revealed" in ad (b), implied that electromagnetic waves from a number of electronic devices could cause serious damage to skin. Because we had seen evidence relating to only one electronic device - mobile phones - and because, for the reasons stated in points 1 and 2, we considered the evidence we had seen for that device was not robust enough to show that electromagnetic waves from it would damage skin. We considered, therefore that the ads made an undue appeal to readers fear of the harm that could be caused by man-made electromagnetic waves.

On this point, the ads breached CAP Code clauses 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 9.1 (Fear and distress).

Action
We told Clarins not to state that electromagnetic waves generated by modern-day devices or domestic communications equipment could damage or age skin or to imply anti-ageing and pro-health efficacy claims for Expertise 3P unless they held robust scientific evidence to support that. We also told them not to make an undue appeal to consumers fear of the harm that could be caused by man-made electromagnetic waves.

[Captured: 30 August 2007 11:00:28]

###################

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

#11 Postby Alan H » August 30th, 2007, 11:12 am

How many of these do you get through your door each week? You also have to ask if they could substantiate their claim of the reward... :hilarity:

********************************************************************************
Support and Help Ltd
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications ... _42969.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ASA Adjudication

Support and Help Ltd
42 Priestfield Road
Gillingham
Kent
ME7 4RF

Number of complaints: 1

Date: 1 August 2007
Media: Circular
Sector: Non-commercial

Ad
A leaflet, for a clothing collection service, stated "THIRD WORLD CLOTHING COLLECTION Can you spare any of your old unwanted clothes which will be sent to the Third World where the garments will be carefully sorted and worn again ... Support and Help LTD is a collecting company which provides people in the third World countries with clothes for their families they can afford ... Company Reg No XXXX ... GOD WILL REWARD YOU FOR YOUR GOOD HEARTS".

Issue
The complainant challenged whether the leaflet misleadingly implied the collection was for a charitable organisation.
The CAP Code: 2.6;3.1;7.1;37.1b

Response
Support and Help did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.

Assessment
Upheld
The ASA was concerned by Support and Help's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code clause 2.6 (Non-response). We reminded them of their obligations under the Code and told them to respond promptly in future.

Because Support and Help did not prove that the clothing was used for charitable purposes, we considered that the ad misleadingly implied the collection was for a charitable organisation.

The ad breached CAP Code clauses 2.6 (Non Response), 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 37.1(b) (Charity linked - promotions).

Action
We told Support and Help not to repeat the approach. We asked CAP to inform its media members of the problem with Support and Help.

[Captured: 30 August 2007 11:10:25]

###################

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

#12 Postby Alan H » August 31st, 2007, 11:39 am

I would like to collaborate on a complaint to the ASA. I think it would be useful for a few of us to do this together and submit a combined complaint. Anyone up for it?

The next question is: who can find something to complain about?

An suggestions?

User avatar
Lifelinking
Posts: 3248
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 11:56 am

#13 Postby Lifelinking » August 31st, 2007, 1:34 pm

I posted a thread at the 'auld place' some time ago, which I reproduce here:



An organisation calling itself Bi-Aura is offering diploma courses in "bio energy healing". Their website can be found at: http://www.bi-aura.com/index.php

They placed an advert on 19 February 2006 in the Sunday Herald Newspaper relating to a 'Pre-Training Workshop' in Glasgow on 25 February 2006. The advert related to training courses and a diploma. It claimed that the "Bi-Aura Energy Therapy Diploma is a recognised 'A' Level Qualification".

This 'diploma' is accredited through a body known as the 'Open College Network North East Region', they state:

"It is a programme of 18 credits (180 hours of notional learning) at Level Three. It is therefore, the equivalent level and approximate credit value of a traditional ‘A’ level and an equivalent level to an NVQ Level 3. It is not an ‘A’ Level or NVQ accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and approved by the Secretary of State."

Bi-Aura were describing their diploma as recognised 'A' level, which it is not. Following a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority regarding the press advert the Bi-Aura Foundation assured the ASA that this claim will be amended in all future written marketing material.

I noted this from their site today. Quote:
This diploma course has been accreditated (sic) by Open College Network and carries level 3 'A' Level status and can be used for University access in the UK.
Note that they do not use the term 'recognised 'A' level', but describe the qualification as having 'A' level status. A very careful use of words.

A complaint has been made to trading standards about their website on the following basis.

Any person reading the phrase 'A Level Status' on the Bi-Aura site, would quite reasonably believe that the qualification offered was an 'A' level, or a qualification of the same academic standing as an 'A' Level, i.e.accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and approved by the Secretary of State.

Their diploma is not recognised or accredited in the same way as an 'A' level, and is in fact a quite different type of 'qualification'. If for example a university was admitting students for a degree in medicine, they would not view a Bi-Aura energy therapy diploma in the same way they would view an 'A' Level in Biology or Chemistry. Why? Because it does not have the same academic standing or legitimacy, in other words it does not have the same status.

One may have to study for a similar amount of time to gain a Bi Aura Energy Therapy Diploma as one would to gain an 'A' level. Similarly up and down the country there are no doubt 'accredited' courses, requiring hours and hours of study time, in subjects such as aromatherapy, reiki and crystal healing. Just because of the hours of study required however, they have not gained the 'status' of 'A' Level qualifications or their academic equivalents as they have not been given that form of accreditation or approval.

Trading Standards however, did not pursue the complaint any further on the basis Quote:
that the information given on the Bi-Aura website is probably no longer false from the point of view of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 ie not false to a 'material degree'.



It still rankles that this lot get away with all sorts of nonsense on their website. :angry: The ASA will pursue complaints regarding newspaper adverts, but not the internet.

As you can see from the above, Trading Standards do not feel that the information on the website is false to a 'material degree'. I do not concur, but that is what the careful use and placement of weasel words can do for you I suppose.

In the meantime however, If anyone notices any inappropriate / misleading newspaper advertising by this group please let me know.

I will get the ASA back on to them quicker than a particularly fast thing that is in a big hurry.

Kindest regards,

L


ps


This diploma course has been accreditated by Open College Network and carries level 3 'A' Level status and can be used for University access in the UK.




University access on to what course exactly?
'Entry level Spells and Invocations'?,
Conning the Desperate - a 'Taught Masters degree in stealing from the vulnerable and the gullible'?
'Introductory hand waving and fluttery eyelids'?
'Post Graduate Diploma in Convincing Trance states for Charlatans'?


This hacks me right off :headbang:
"Who thinks the law has anything to do with justice? It's what we have because we can't have justice."
William McIlvanney

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

#14 Postby Alan H » September 5th, 2007, 9:06 pm

LL

I agree. The ASA's statement is ridiculous. Keep at them!

Loved the list of courses. :)

User avatar
Oxfordrocks
Posts: 673
Joined: September 10th, 2007, 9:45 am

#15 Postby Oxfordrocks » September 10th, 2007, 10:23 pm

Obviously I'm going to have to get up to speed on advertising guidlines/rules.
I see so much of this nonsense everyday.
Keep up the good work Alan H.

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

#16 Postby Alan H » September 13th, 2007, 10:02 pm

It is worth reading some of their codes, but it's very easy to make a complaint. All you need to say is 'I doubt that they could provide evidence that...' or words to that effect. If the advertiser can't provide scientific evidence, they lose - simple as that.

Anything medical, you can usually say that they are diverting the vulnerable form consulting a real doctor when they may have a serious illness.

One thing I have never really understood is their distinction between fact and opinion. Advertisers are allowed to state opinions that may not correspond with 'fact', but I'm damned if I understand how they decide whether anything an advertiser says is them stating a fact or it's their opinion.

Alan

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

#17 Postby Alan H » October 4th, 2007, 11:47 pm

A new one this week:


********************************************************************************
Pandith Sri Guru Poojya Vijay Sharmaji
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications ... _43284.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pandith Sri Guru Poojya Vijay Sharmaji
53 Nineveh Road
Handsworth
Birmingham
B21 0SU

Date: 3 October 2007
Media: Television
Sector:






Ad
An ad on Venus TV said and stated "meet world famous astrologer and palm reader from generations. Pandith is an expert in astrology. He can tell you about marriage, employment, family, spousal conflict, social business, financial problems, citizenship, health, wealth and exam studies. Combines the power of palmistry, clairvoyance, astrology and face-reading to give you a more complete reading. Please contact Sri Guru Poojya Vijay Sharmaji ...". On-screen text stated ... Pandith is an Expert in Astrology with 99% Accurate Results in Palmistry and also Prediction of Horoscope ... Born Gifted with Spiritual Powers let him help you to Solve your Problems with his Expert knowledge Yantrik & Mantric" over background graphics of the solar system and tarot cards.

Issue
Monitoring staff challenged whether the ad:

1. promoted an unacceptable category as defined by rules 3.1 (i) (the occult) and 10. 3 (The occult, psychic practices and exorcism); and

2. offered a service of individual advice on personal or consumer problems, contrary to rule 3.1 (j).

3. Monitoring staff challenged whether Pandith could guarantee 99% accurate results.

BCAP TV Advertising Code: 5.1;10.3;3.1(i);3.1(j);5.2.1

Response
Venus TV withdrew the ad as soon as the challenges were brought to their attention. They explained that the person normally in charge of compliance had been unable to carry out the routine advertising checks. Venus TV acknowledged that someone else should have been carrying out the compliance checks in the meantime. Venus TV explained that the ad had aired in error before they received the clearance documents from the client. Venus TV added that the ad would not be shown until they had received them.

Assessment
1. Upheld
The ASA welcomed Venus TVs assurance that the ad had been withdrawn. The CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code prohibits advertising for products or services within the recognized character of the occult. Note 4 of section 10.3 The occult, psychic practices and exorcism explains that that includes personal astrology readings and palmistry. We considered that the ad promoted a palm readers services. We concluded that the ad was for an unacceptable category.

The ad breached CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rule 3.1 (i) (the occult) and 10. 3 (The occult, psychic practices and exorcism).

2. Upheld
The Code also prohibits (with certain exceptions) commercial services offering advice on personal or consumer problems. We considered that the services referred to in the claim He can tell you about marriage, employment, family, spousal conflict, social business, financial problems, citizenship, health, wealth & exam studies" fell within that prohibition. We concluded that the ad was for an unacceptable category.

The ad breached CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rule 3.1 (j) (commercial services offering individual advice on personal or consumer problems).

3. Upheld
We noted Venus TV had submitted no evidence to substantiate the claim. We considered that the claim was misleading.

The ad breached CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rules 5.1 (Misleading) and 5.2.1 (Evidence).

Action
The ad must not be shown again.

[Captured: 04 October 2007 23:49:49]

###################

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

#18 Postby Alan H » October 4th, 2007, 11:48 pm

...and another:


********************************************************************************
Pundit Maharaj
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications ... _43283.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pundit Maharaj
40 Bridge Street Row
Chester
CH1 1NN

Date: 3 October 2007
Media: Television
Sector:






Ad
Hindi and English versions of an ad for Pundit Maharaj aired on Venus TV. The voice-over said "Pundit Maharaj established since 1952 in England. Numerous successful clients all over the world. For more information please call 07974 XXXXX or log on to http://www.punditjimaharaj.com. The ad featured a graphic of a palm and, in the top right of the screen, a circling wheel of zodiac signs.

Issue
Monitoring staff challenged whether the ad indirectly promoted an unacceptable product as defined by rule 3.1 (i).

BCAP TV Advertising Code: 3.2

Response
Venus TV withdrew the ad as soon as the challenge was brought to their attention. They explained that the person normally in charge of compliance had been unable to carry out the routine advertising checks. Venus TV acknowledged that someone else should have been carrying out the compliance checks in the meantime. Venus TV explained that the advertiser had assured them that the ad had been approved and was being shown on other channels. Venus TV added that they had requested a clearance certificate for the ad and that they would not show the ad again until they had it.

Assessment
1. Upheld
The ASA welcomed Venus TVs assurance that the ad had been withdrawn. We reminded Venus TV that the responsibility for advertising content lay with the broadcaster and it was not acceptable to rely on other broadcasters clearances. We noted the website that was featured in the ad stated Everyday you read in the papers about the different SPIRITUAL HEALERS and ASTROLOGERS and of their AUTHENTICITY and POWERS ... PUNDIT JEE is the only SPIRITUAL HEALER who can prove by DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE that his FAMILY i.e., FATHER and he have been ESTABLISHED in ENGLAND since 1952. NO other PSYCHIC can prove their EXISTENCE and AUTHENTICITY with DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE. This PROVES that PUNDIT JEE is the only SUCCESSFUL SPIRITUAL HEALER who has helped PEOPLE from all walks of life and can prove this by LETTERS from SATISFIED CLIENTELE who have had their PROBLEMS solved with a 100% GUARANTEE."

"If you have a problem that has not been solved by any GURU or SPIRITUAL HEALER PUNDIT JEE invites you to contact him as a LAST RESORT and I PROMISE that all your PROBLEMS will be finished FOREVER and you will be one of the MILLIONS of DEVOTEES of PUNDIT MAHARAJ who are leading SUCCESSFUL and CONFIDENT lives and come EVERY YEAR from all over the WORLD to pay their RESPECTS and touch PUNDIT JEE'S feet.

Because ads for the occult and psychic practices were prohibited by rule 10.3, we considered that the ad indirectly promoted an unacceptable product.

The ad breached CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rule 3.2. (Indirect promotion).

Action
The ad must not be shown again.

[Captured: 04 October 2007 23:50:53]

###################

User avatar
Lifelinking
Posts: 3248
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 11:56 am

#19 Postby Lifelinking » October 5th, 2007, 1:19 pm

:grin:

Pundit Jee reminds me of an old Spike Milligan skit where he was dressed up as a Guru and sitting in the lotus position, he began with the words "I'm a dedicated con man". Unfortunately I cannot find a clip of the sketch anywhere. :sad:


L
"Who thinks the law has anything to do with justice? It's what we have because we can't have justice."
William McIlvanney

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

Re: Advertising Standards Authority

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

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?


Return to “Sciences and pseudo-science”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests