ASA Adjudication on Albany Womens Centre
Albany Womens Centre
73-75 Bell Street
6 July 2011
Health and beauty
Number of complaints:
A company listing on Yell.com, for a pregnancy advice service, appeared under a search listing for 'Abortion Clinics'. The ad stated "Albany Women's Centre [address]. Considering Abortion? Free Pregnancy Testing Information & Advisory Service Quick & Confidential Morning After? Polish And Spanish Spoken".
Education for Choice objected that the ad was misleading, because they believed it did not make clear that Albany Women's Centre was a pro-life group who would not offer impartial advice on abortions.
The Albany Woman's Centre did not respond to the complaint.
The ASA was concerned by Albany Women's Centre's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
We considered that the combination of the text "Considering abortion? Free Pregnancy Testing Information and Advisory Service Quick & Confidential Morning After?" and the appearance of the listing in the 'Abortion Clinics' section of the Yell.com site, implied that the clinic offered independent and objective advice on abortions and the morning after pill as part of its information and advisory service. However, we understood that Albany Women's Centre was a pro-life organisation and that as such, its advice on pregnancy termination would not be objective or impartial. We considered that the listing did not make clear that the Albany Women's Centre was a pro-life group and therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.7 (Unreasonable delay), 3.1 and 3.7 (Misleading advertising).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We asked CAP to inform its members of the problem with Albany Women's Centre. We told Albany Woman's Centre to ensure the placement and content of future ads made clear the nature of the service on offer.
Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)