A direct mailing, for an "organic silica gel" called Artrosilium, consisted of a letter, a document entitled "Networking Newsletter for Users of Artrosilium", another document entitled "The natural remedy for the relief of arthritis by Dr Anton Robinson" and a coupon to obtain a free sample of Artrosilium.
Issues: 1. Three complainants challenged whether IntraMed could substantiate the efficacy claims for Artrosilium, including that the product could be used to treat serious medical conditions; arthritis, prostate problems and Alzheimer's disease. The ASA challenged whether the: 2. ad made medicinal claims for an unauthorised product; 3. ad was irresponsible, because it might discourage recipients from seeking suitably qualified medical advice for serious medical conditions; 4. testimonials were genuine and could be supported with independent evidence of their accuracy and 5. ad misleadingly implied that the product was guaranteed to work.
IntraMed asserted that the ad did not contain efficacy or medicinal claims but merely reported customer experiences. They said they always let consumers know if customers had good experiences with the product.
They confirmed that Artrosilium was not a licensed medicine but argued that it was natural and contained no dangerous or banned substances. They also said the benefits of silicon were well documented, and the product was manufactured to high standards and according to EU guidelines.
All upheld. If you're interested in how quacks try to make medical claims without making medical claims, read the whole adjudication.
A direct mailing for a slimming tablet had the headline "Making International headlines, 'A Revolutionary New Slimming Product'. Take 1 Tablet of SLIMSALL and Automatically Lose 2lbs. There were 12 concerns highlighted. The advertiser did not respond to the ASA, so they automatically lose.
All Nations Church
A poster, for a church event, stated 'Are you ready for a miracle? LIVE at the ALL NATIONS CENTRE 23rd-25th October, 7.30 p.m. DON DOUBLE Healing Evangelist'. The claim "are you ready for a miracle" was surrounded by a number of serious medical conditions including blindness, HIV/AIDS, cancer, deafness, diabetes, asthma, paralysis, leukemia, stroke, heart disease, epilepsy, tumours and depression. Issues: The complainant challenged whether the poster: 1. was irresponsible and misleading because it implied that Don Double could heal the serious medical conditions listed and 2. discouraged people from seeking essential medical treatment for the listed conditions. Both upheld.
A magazine ad, for the Ionic Bracelet, was headed "Get rid of aches and pains by wearing this incredible bracelet". Issue: A reader challenged whether: 1. the efficacy claims for the Ionic Bracelet could be substantiated, and 2. the testimonials were genuine. The ASA challenged whether: 3. the testimonials misleadingly implied efficacy, and 4. the ad was irresponsible, because it might discourage readers from seeking properly qualified medical advice about serious medical conditions such as depression, asthma and circulatory complaints. All upheld.
The Nutrition and Health Institute
a. A national press ad was headed "THE ARTHRITIS SOCIETY - FREE Book plus FREE Supplement." Body copy stated "Why would The Arthritis Society give away a book that normally sells for £7.95 for FREE? Issues: claims that the ad is misleading and made medical claims. All upheld.
AMI Clinic Ltd
A poster for AMI Clinic Ltd (AMI) stated in large, prominent lettering 'WANT LONGER LASTING SEX?' The word 'SEX' appeared in very large lettering. Smaller text stated 'NASAL DELIVERY TECHNOLOGY CALL THE DOCTORS AT ADVANCED MEDICAL INSTITUTE'. I'm not entirely sure what the actual product is, but the issues were: 1. 521 complainants believed the poster was offensive and, therefore, unsuitable for display in public locations, which included near schools and in areas with a high Jewish population, where it could be seen by children, and 2. The ASA challenged whether the poster advertised an unlicensed medicine. All upheld. It's interesting that there were so many complaints (521) and that they invoked the reason that is was near schools and an area 'with a high Jewish population'. I do have to wonder if this was an orchestrated complaint?
And the final one for now...I've included the whole text because it's interesting (in a nerdy sort of a way). In the UK...well, the adjudication explains it all.
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications ... _45779.htm
Number of complaints: 1
Date: 18 February 2009
Sector: Health and beauty
A magazine ad for Woodvale Clinic stated "DR JOHN W STOWELL L.D.S.R.C.S. (Eng) B.D.S. F.D.S R.C.S. (Edin) G.D.C. Registered Specialist in Surgical Dentistry and Oral Surgery". Text under the sub-heading "Dental and Facial Aesthetics" stated "Woodvale Clinic look forward to welcoming you for a comprehensive range of services to achieve an improved youthful and attractive appearance with the following treatments Whitening of teeth Bridges Dental Implants Crowns and veneers Facial fillers and Lip enhancements ... Associate Fellow of American Academy of Implant Dentistry ...".
The complainant challenged whether the reference to "Dr" misleadingly implied that the practitioner held a general medical qualification.
The CAP Code: 3.1;7.1
Dental Protection (DP) responded on behalf of Woodvale Clinic. They believed the use of the title "Dr" in this context was not misleading, because it was clear from the ad that the practitioner was a General Dental Council (GDC) registered specialist in surgical dentistry and oral surgery.
DP explained that it was common practice in the UK and throughout the world for dentists to use the honorary title "Dr". They said this had not always been the case, however, but the position had changed over recent years and, with the enlargement of the European Community, dentists from Europe who were allowed to use the title in their home country were now free to work in the UK. DP believed, to disallow UK dentists from using the honorary title was, therefore, discriminatory.
They explained that the GDC had no objection to dentists using the title "Dr" and also that the title "Dr" was used by the British Dental Association (BDA) in written correspondence to its members and at all conferences and dentist meetings. DP appreciated that if members of the public were misled into believing dentists were medically qualified, this would be against public interest. They also believed, however, to deny the use of the title when others clearly used it, and its use was widespread around the world, was also against patients interest. They pointed out that a large number of medical practitioners did not have a doctoral MD or PhD qualification.
DP submitted several examples of dentist ads and literature in which the practitioner bore the title "Dr".
THIS ADJUDICATION REPLACES THAT PUBLISHED ON 22 OCTOBER 2008. THE COMPLAINTS REMAINS UPHELD BUT THE WORDING HAS BEEN CHANGED.
The ASA acknowledged DP's comments and understood their argument that the honorary title "Dr" was widely used. We also noted the ad clearly stated that the practitioner was a "Registered Specialist in Surgical Dentistry and Oral Surgery" and understood that, since 1995, the GDC had allowed dentists to use "Dr" as a courtesy title, providing they did not otherwise imply that they were qualified to carry out medical procedures.
We considered, however, that the title "Dr" before a practitioners name should not be used in ads unless the practitioner held a general medical qualification, a relevant PhD or doctorate (of sufficient length and intensity) or unless the similarities and differences between the practitioner's qualifications and medical qualifications were explained in detail in the ad. We noted from the list of qualifications included in the ad that the practitioner was not medically qualified and did not hold a relevant PhD or doctorate qualification. We also considered that the advertisement did not explain the differences between the practitioner's qualifications and medical qualifications.We concluded that the use of "Dr" in this ad could mislead.
The ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation) and 7.1 (Truthfulness).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Woodvale Clinic not to use the title "Dr" in their ads, unless the practitioner was medically qualified or held a relevant PhD or doctorate qualification or unless the similarities and differences between the practitioner's qualifications and medical qualifications were explained in detail in the ad and advised them to seek a view from the CAP Copy Advice team before advertising again.
[Retrieved: Thu Feb 19 2009 00:55:35 GMT+0000 (GMT Standard Time)]
Now just think of the number of quacks who use the title Dr?