A paid-for social media post for Support Diabetes, seen on 5 April 2017, contained text that stated "Could this #Oximeter be of use to any of your loved ones? #Diabetes #Highbloodpressure. Tag someone you know, this Pulse Oximeter might come in handy! Click Here --> [URL] Click Here --> [URL] Share - This may come in handy to Diabetes Patients". The ad also featured a "Shop Now" button.
The complainant, who understood that the product checked pulse rates and oxygen levels in the blood using a sensor, challenged whether the efficacy claims in relation to diabetes and high blood pressure were misleading and could be substantiated.
24trending.com t/a Support Diabetes did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by 24trending.com’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 provide a response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
We considered that consumers were likely to understand the references to diabetes and high blood pressure in the ad to mean that the oximeter was effective in helping to monitor and manage those conditions.
The CAP Code required that medicinal or medical claims and indications may be made for a medicinal product that is licensed by the MHRA or under the auspices of the EMA, or for a CE-marked medical device. We had not seen any documentary evidence to demonstrate that the oximeter advertised was CE-marked or registered with the MHRA, and therefore considered that the product was not a CE-marked medical device. Because of that, no medical claims could be made for the product. Furthermore, we had not seen any evidence that the oximeter in question was efficacious in helping to monitor and manage diabetes and high blood pressure.
Because the ad made medical claims for a product which was not a CE-marked medical device, we concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 12.1 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).
The ad must not appear in its current form again. We told 24trending.com to ensure that they did not make medical claims for a product, unless they held adequate evidence to demonstrate that it was a CE-marked medical device and that it was effective in helping to monitor or treat the conditions referenced. We referred the matter to CAP’s Compliance Team.