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Product: Health & Beauty
Advertiser: Almond Homeopathy
Medium: Online - Social Media
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 11.1, 11.5, 11.8(a), 11.9, 11.10
A Facebook post by Almond Homeopathy stated:
“More and more children are being diagnosed on the Autism spectrum every day. Some predictions indicate that by 2032 as many as 50% of children will be on the ASD spectrum. I have the pleasure of meeting and working with many children diagnosed with ASD and the greater pleasure and joy of helping them overcome many of their symptoms that were holding them and their families back from getting the most out of life.
Christian is one of those children, to find out more about him and how his learning, relationships and speech improved have a read of my new blog. “
The headline of the Blog was also featured and it stated:
“Big Autism Improvement! / Almond Homeopathy
Christian came to see me when he was 4 ½. He had been diagnosed with ASD. His speech was delayed….”
A link to the blog article was contained within the post.
The complainant objected to the claim that the advertiser could alleviate the symptoms of Autism. The complainant noted that the blog linked to from the post contained a case history of a patient but there was no mention of the advertiser being authorised to do so. The complainant considered that the advertiser was not professionally qualified to treat such a condition.
The advertiser stated that she was a qualified homeopath and was registered with the Irish Society of Homeopaths.
She said that she did not diagnose conditions, nor did she claim to do so as this was not what she was trained to do. She said that people come to her with a set of symptoms and she uses the symptoms to determine what remedy may help them best. She said that she treats the person not their condition or disease and that she did not claim to be able to cure anything or anyone. She said that she used previous cases to illustrate what symptoms and struggles can be helped.
In regards to the cases on her blog, she said that she has permission for every one she shares and that she changes the name for each case. Finally she said that when advertising on Facebook she sets the target audience to over 18’s and she does not advertise to young people.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee, whilst noting the advertisers’ comments that she was a qualified and licensed homeopath and that she was registered with the Irish Society of Homeopaths, were aware from a previous case (26082) that the Department of Health had confirmed that there was no statutory regulation of complementary therapists.
The Committee also noted the advertiser’s response that she was ‘treating’ the person and not the condition, however, they considered that the wording of her post and the heading of the blog post would give readers the impression that she could treat the symptoms of Autism.
In the light of the above the Committee considered that the advertising was in breach of Sections 11.1, 11.9 and 11.10 of the Code.
ACTION REQUIRED: The advertising must not reappear in its current format again.