Challenging misleading healthcare claims

Advertising Standards Authority Results

This is a list of our Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) complaints and their outcomes.

There are essentially two ways the ASA deals with complaints:

  • Formal investigation, leading to an adjudication being published;
  • Informally resolved case, where only the advertiser's name and basic details are published.

However, some complaints are dealt with by their Compliance Team with no details being published on the ASA's website.

Note that it is the ASA that decides whether any complaint is valid or not and it is the ASA that assesses the evidence and decides the outcome according to the criteria laid down in the CAP Code and their procedures.

We have no say in deciding these outcomes. Note also that any decision an advertiser makes about the future of their business or how they choose to conduct it after any complaint is entirely a matter for them.

The dates refer to the dates of publication of the adjudications or informally resolved case.

We will update this list as new complaints are published.

Summary

In summary:

  • 18 upheld adjudications
  • 3 partly upheld adjudications
  • 1 not upheld adjudication
  • 24 informally resolved cases
  • 95 issues investigated
  • 264 instances of CAP Code breached identified
  • 20 instances of CAP Code not breached identified
  • 70 breaches of CAP Code 3.1 Misleading advertising
  • 67 breaches of CAP Code 3.7 Substantiation (ie where the advertiser was unable to substantiate the claims made)
  • 86 breaches of the CAP Codes on medical claims

The following chart shows the various sections of the CAP Code and the number of points found to be in breach and not in breach of these sections, as identified by the ASA. It also includes the number of informally resolved cases.

ASA Summary 12 August 2015

Adjudications

Adjudications are published when the ASA has decided to investigate the complaint formally and ask the advertiser for evidence to substantiate the claims made. The adjudication details the issues identified by the ASA, details of the advertiser's response, the ASA's assessment of that response and its decision, citing any CAP Codes that have been breached. The Nightingale Collaboration is always identified as the complainant.

Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine

University College London Hospitals: Medical and Clinical Hypnosis 09 January 2013

University College London Hospitals: Acupuncture 12 June 2013

University College London Hospitals: Western Herbal Medicine 23 October 2013

What Doctors Don’t Tell You

Radiant Life Technologies 12 December 2012

Medical Thermal Imaging Ltd 09 January 2013

Stetzer Electric Inc 16 January 2013

Good Health Naturally 16 January 2013

BEP Technology Ltd 06 February 2013

Dulwich Health Ltd 06 February 2013

Harmony United Ltd 13 February 2013

International Antiaging Systems Ltd 13 February 2013

Dulwich Health Ltd 27 February 2013

Bicom UK LLP 28 January 2015

Life Long Products 27 May 2015

Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century

Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century 03 July 2013

Homeopathy

Ainsworths (London) Ltd 27 July 2011

Although the following two complaints were not made by the Nightingale Collaboration, they were instigated by the ASA as a result of our homeopathy campaign.

Steve Scrutton Homeopathy 08 August 2012

Society of Homeopaths 03 July 2013

Again, this complaint was not made by us, but is relevant in light of the one above.

Steve Scrutton Homeopathy 18 September 2013

Reflexology

Jackie Ginger Reflexology 28 September 2011

The Reflex Clinic 26 October 2011

Bristol-reflexology.co.uk 30 November 2011

Craniosacral Therapy

Being in Stillness 02 November 2011

Being in Stillness 01 August 2012

Chiropractic

Kingsbridge Chiropractic Clinic 12 November 2014

Informally resolved cases

Informally resolved cases are when the ASA have taken the matter up informally with the advertiser, who has then agreed to withdraw or amend the advert. For these, no details of complaint other than the name of the advertiser, the type of publication and the category are published by the ASA.

Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine

University College London Hospitals T/a The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine - Marigold Therapy Leaflet 02 May 2012

Integrated Medical Centre Ltd 03 April 2013

Marigold Footcare Ltd 24 April 2013

The Marigold Trust 24 April 2013

University College London Hospitals T/a Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine 07 August 2013

Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde 07 May 2014

What Doctors Don’t Tell You

Learnbuteyko.co.uk 14 November 2012

Wholistic Research Company Ltd 14 November 2012

Asthma Care Kent 05 December 2012

General Naturopathic Council Ltd 05 December 2012

Energy for Health Ltd 19 December 2012

James White Drinks Ltd 19 December 2012

Abundance & Health Ltd T/a Lypo-Spheric Nutrients 09 January 2013

Simply Vital Ltd 09 January 2013

Clarus 23 January 2013

The British Institute for Allergy and Environmental Therapy 13 March 2013

Abundance & Health Ltd t/a Lypo-Spheric Nutrients 19 June 2013

PJO Enterprises Ltd t/a FirZone.co.uk 05 November 2014

Life Long Products 12 August 2015

Osteopathy

The Family Practice Osteopaths Bristol 15 May 2013

Hereford Clinic of Osteopathy & Complementary Medicine 22 May 2013

Charles Lim 19 June 2013

Homeopathy

Holland & Barrett Retail Ltd 13 June 2012

Acupuncture

The British Medical Acupuncture Society 20 August 2014

Last updated: 12 August 2015 


 

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