Background

Misleading Advertising: Lark Holdings Limited breaks UK advertising rules for making claims that the ‘Serenity Method’ and ‘Cognitive Deletion’ can permanently eliminate anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, PTSD and phobias in less than 14 days.

ASA Ruling on Lark Holdings Limited (1 May 2024) indicates that the ASA have received no evidence from the advertiser to substantiate that these two methods are capable of permanently eliminating any type of anxiety, phobias or panic attacks in less than 14 days (or at all). Therefore, in the absence of such evidence, the ASA concluded that the claims made have not been substantiated and therefore should be considered as misleading.

The CAP Code states that marketers must not discourage essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought. The website makes claims that suggest the ‘Serenity Method’ programme and ‘Cognitive Deletion’ are an effective treatment for OCD and PTSD. The ASA considered that these were conditions for which medical supervision should be sought. Because the advertiser has not supplied evidence that showed that their programme was conducted under the supervision of a suitably qualified medical professional, the ASA concluded that the ad discouraged essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought, and therefore breached the Code.

The CAP Compliance team contacted Lark Holdings Limited, but in the absence of a response to comply with the Code, took the decision on 4 June 2024 to place their company details on this section of the ASA website.

These details shall remain in place until such time as Lark Holidays Limited has removed or appropriately amended the claims on www.serenity-method.com to ensure compliance with the CAP Code.

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