Background

Misleading Advertising: Nicholas Handoll breaks the UK advertising rules for making unsubstantiated health claims for osteopathy on The Hereford Osteopathic Centre website: www.herefordosteopaths.co.uk. 

In 2017 the ASA investigated a webpage entitled “Infants and Children” on the www.herefordosteopaths.co.uk website that referred to a number of health conditions relating to children: “There are many ways in which parents express their concern for their children’s welfare. They often describe it in terms of symptoms or conditions such as inconsolable crying and distress, colic, reflux, unsettled child, poor feeding, wind, sleeping problems, glue ear, painful ears, breathing difficulties, nasal congestion, recurrent infections, poor concentration, disruptive behaviour, aggression, head pain, misshapen head, plagiocephaly, Down's syndrome.”

The ASA considered that the references to health conditions in the context of a website offering osteopathic services implied that osteopathy could treat those conditions. In the absence of evidence to demonstrate the efficacy of osteopathy in treating the conditions, the ASA concluded that the implied efficacy claims had not been substantiated and were thereby misleading.

The CAP Compliance team contacted Nicholas Handoll to seek compliance with the ruling but, in the absence of a response, took the decision on 14 August 2017 to place his company details on this section of the ASA website. These details shall remain in place until such time as Nicholas Handoll has removed or appropriately amended the claims on www.herefordosteopaths.co.uk to ensure compliance with the CAP Code.

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