A TV ad, for laser eye surgery, stated "When you're ready for laser surgery, you're looking for perfect vision, without glasses or contact lenses. You want to see the world in high definition from the moment you wake up ... Think about it, no more glasses or lenses in your life."
The complainant challenged whether the claim "no more glasses or lenses in your life" was misleading and could be substantiated, because he understood that glasses may still be needed later in life.
Optimax Laser Eye Clinics said they did not consider that the statement promised viewers they would never need glasses again, but rather that it asked them to think about life without them in the present. They said that the woman in the ad was a genuine Optimax Laser Eye Clinics patient, who was speaking from her own experience, and that their patients enjoyed long-term good and unaided vision in the majority of cases. They said the long-term efficacy of the procedure had led the NHS and National Institute for Care and Health Excellence (NICE) to approve it in recent years. They told us they offered several laser treatments for those aged over 50, who required glasses for reading, and therefore that reliance on glasses was by no means inevitable after one of their procedures.
Clearcast told us they endorsed Optimax Laser Eye Clinics' comments and that they would not have cleared an ad which suggested laser eye surgery was a once in a lifetime fix for eye conditions. They said they had interpreted the claim as meaning "after you've had the operation, you won't need your glasses", rather than "after the operation you'll never need glasses again". They said they considered the claim was intended to point out the fundamental change that people would notice as soon as they'd had the operation and fell short of promising a lifetime without glasses. They felt the complainant had misinterpreted the claim and that the ad was not misleading.
The ASA understood the complainant had interpreted the phrase "no more glasses and lenses in your life" as meaning "no more glasses and lenses in your lifetime". However, we did not consider that this was how the claim would be interpreted by the majority of viewers, who would understand that the phrase was intended to highlight the fact that those who underwent the procedure would immediately be able to stop using vision aids. We therefore concluded that the ad was not misleading.
We investigated under BCAP Code rule 3.1 3.1 Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.