A text message sent to customers with offers for acupuncture and breast massage made the following claims:
1. Acupuncture for headaches and migranes
2. Breast massage for women with hands and machine
Benefits of breast massage:
1: Breast Massage Reduces The Risk Of Breast Cancer
2: Increases Breast Size
3: Prevents Sagging
4: Helps You Look Younger
5: Increases Pleasure
6: Lifts Stress and Depression
More benefits clink the link http://natureharmony.ie/services/
Full price 20 minutes €40, special offer price €30 only.
€120 for 6 sessions. €220 for 12 sessions.
if you are a male, you can recommend your girlfriend/wife to be here to try it. These two offers will be…..”
The complainant challenged the claims that breast massage could reduce the risk of breast cancer, increase breast size and prevented sagging. She considered that the claims had no scientific basis and could not be supported.
The advertisers apologised and advised that they did not want to break any laws. They said that they would cooperate with the ASAI and would change their advertising. They said that they would be more careful with their advertising in the future. They said that it was the first time that they had encountered this situation and were unsure how to deal with it. They also referred the Executive to their website and requested advice on how they advertised their breast massage service.
The Executive advised the advertisers that they should be in a position to substantiate any claim that is made in their advertising. On reviewing the website, the Executive noted that the claim that breast massage could reduce the risk of breast cancer was based on research that was published over 20 years previously (1) . They reminded the advertisers that scientific research should be independent and peer reviewed and, in view of the date of the research they were basing their claim on, they advised the advertisers to show why they considered that the research was still valid.
No substantiation was provided by the advertisers for the claims.
(1) The reference to the research on the advertisers’ website was to an editorial piece in a UK national newspapers’ website published in 1994. No direct link to the research was provided.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the advertisers had expressed a willingness to amend their advertising, but had not yet done so. The Committee noted that they had not provided any substantiation for the claims made in their advertising. In the circumstances the Committee considered that the advertising was in breach of Section 11.1 of the Code.
The Complaints Committee told the advertisers to remove the claims until that they were in a position to provide substantiation for the claims. They also advised them that they should ensure that they have substantiation for any claims made in their advertising.