Wednesday, 3 July 2013

ASA smackdown on homeopathy advertising

In an adjudication published today, the Advertising Standards Authority(ASA) effectively killed all advertising on homeopathy. This statement from the adjudication pretty much covers it:
We told the Society of Homeopaths not to discourage essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought, including offering specific advice on or treatment for such conditions. We also told them not to make health claims for homeopathy unless they held sufficiently robust evidence of efficacy.
This has come about, in part, by a campaign led by the Nightingale Collaboration that encouraged supporters to submit ASA complaints about claims made on homeopathy websites. Briefly, the ASA sent letters to homeopaths offering guidance on advertising homeopathy service. They also decided to investigate further two 'master' complaints in order to precedent for future cases. These are the two adjudications published today.
What this now means is that homeopath's must live up to their responsibilities and abide by the CAP Code, ASA Guidances and rulings. And they must stop claiming that homeopathy is effective for any medical condition.
It's worth noting that nothing here prevents anyone from practicing or earning a living from homeopathy; nothing prevents anyone from buying homeopathic 'remedies' if that's what they want to do. It is only about ensuring that homeopath's abide by the same rules that all other advertisers must do.