ASA Non-broadcast Adjudication: Speak Campaign
PO Box 6712
21 June 2006
A brochure for an animal welfare pressure group included a quote from Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, the chairman of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE). The quote stated "The animal testing regime ... is utterly futile." NICE objected that the testimonial was misleading and dishonest because it was quoted entirely out of context.
CAP Code (Edition 11)
Speak Campaign (Speak) did not respond in writing. In the course of a telephone conversation they said they did not plan to reprint the leaflet but they would continue to distribute the leaflets they had left. The ASA was concerned by Speak's lack of written response and apparent disregard for the CAP Code. We reminded them of their responsibility to respond to our enquiries and to do so promptly in future.
We noted that Professor Sir Michael Rawlins' quote referred to the use of animal testing in long-term carcinogenicity studies with known genotoxic compounds or compounds that produced hyperplasia in chronic toxicity tests only. We considered that the testimonial misleadingly implied Professor Sir Michael Rawlins was against all animal testing. We told Speak to ensure the accuracy of their testimonials in future. We asked CAP to inform its media members of the problem.
The brochure breached CAP Code clauses 2.6 (Non-response), 6.1 (Honesty), 7.1 (Truthfulness), 13.1 (Protection of privacy), 14.1 and 14.5 (Testimonials and endorsements).