Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the Advertising Standards Authority.
This section should be read in conjunction with the entry on Health: Therapies (General)
CAP understands that the Lightning Process (LP) is a three-day training programme that incorporates low intensity physical movements and elements of hypnosis and meditation in order to make people think differently about their health.
What claims are likely to be problematic?
To date, neither the ASA nor CAP has seen robust evidence for the health benefits of LP. Marketers that make efficacy claims about the therapy or refer to the treatment of medical conditions are likely to breach the Code unless they hold robust clinical evidence in support.
In 2012 the ASA assessed advertising claims that LP could help with CFS/ME, FM/Chronic Pain, multiple sclerosis, IBS/Digestive issues, food/chemical Intolerances, eating disorders, addiction, depression, phobias/anxiety/stress, low self- esteem and OCD. The ASA considered that the submitted evidence, which included self-reported questionnaires, clinical pilot studies and clinical trial abstracts on different but similar types of therapy was not sufficiently robust to support the treatment claims in the ad (Phil Parker Group Ltd, 22 August 2012).
What about conditions for which medical supervision should be sought?
Advertising claims to treat conditions for which medical supervision should be sought are likely to be considered to discourage essential medical treatment, unless the treatment is carried out under the supervision of a suitably qualified health professional (Phil Parker Group Ltd, 22 August 2012).
What claims are likely to be acceptable?
Although it has not yet been considered by the ASA or CAP, it may be acceptable to make some claims that LP can help develop a patient’s attitude to their illness, provided ads do not go so far as to suggest a change in attitude will impact on overall health or on the specific health condition in question.