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Product: Health and Beauty (Alternative Therapies)
Advertiser: Reiki South East
Medium: Internet (Company Website)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4c, 3.10, 4.1, 4.4, 11.1
The advertiser’s website provided the following information:
“… My experience to date is that I am a Registered General Nurse, Registered Midwife and Registered Public Health Nurse…”
“Potential Benefits of Reiki”
“Reiki has proved to be of great benefit for a broad range of conditions. It is used as a complement to conventional therapies in hospitals worldwide ….”
“Reiki can heal:
• Whilst on chemo boosts energy immediately…”
The complainant queried the use of the claim that whilst on chemo Reiki “boosts energy immediately” and asked if there was evidence to substantiate such a claim. He also considered that the fact the advertising made reference to the person performing the treatments being a registered nurse, gave credence to the claim and made it more legitimate to people, especially those who were undergoing chemotherapy.
The advertiser said that the claims that Reiki worked was founded on feedback from clients, as she voluntarily worked with the Cancer Centre in her locality. She also said that the treatment was endorsed by eight general practitioners in the practice where she worked.
It was pointed out to the advertiser that feedback from clients was not considered to be relevant substantiation for the claims made in their advertising and that relevant scientific evidence was required to support the claims made. It was also pointed out that should the advertiser wish to provide the Authority with endorsements from the general practitioners mentioned in her initial response that the Executive would be happy to read them.
The advertiser said she was very busy but would change the wording on her website.
To date the claims on the website have not been changed.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They expressed their concern that the advertisers had failed to provide relevant substantiation for the claims made in their advertising (including the results of robust and reputable trials on human subjects).
The Complaints Committee considered the advertising to be in breach of Sections 3.10, 4.1, 4.4, and 11.1 of the Code.
The advertising should not be used in the same format again.