Two ads on Instagram and LinkedIn for AK Sports Therapy & Massage, seen on 1 July 2019:
a. The bio section of the Instagram page @aksportstherapy, included the text “Alan Kay GSR Bsc (Hons)…Fully qualified, fully insured graduate sports rehabilitator”.
b. The advertiser’s LinkedIn page which included the text “Alan Kay GSR Bsc (Hons)”.
The British Association of Sport Rehabilitation (BASRaT) challenged whether the use of the title “GSR” in ads (a) and (b) misleadingly implied that the advertiser was a member of BASRaT.
Alan Kay t/a AK Sports Therapy & Massage said that he was a graduate in Sport Rehabilitation and that the title “GSR” (Graduate Sports Rehabilitator) was not a protected title. He provided a copy of his university degree certificate. He also provided a response from a membership organisation, confirming that the “GSR” title was not a protected title. They said that the membership of BASRaT, which set out a code of conduct for practitioners, was voluntary and that practitioners could join alternative membership associations.
The ASA understood that the abbreviation “GSR” stood for Graduate Sports Rehabilitator. We considered that consumers were likely to understand from the ads that the title “GSR” was a reference to Alan Kay’s degree qualification because it appeared before the text “Bsc Hons”. In addition, ad (a) stated that Alan Kay was a “graduate sports rehabilitator” which further clarified the meaning of “GSR” in that context. We understood that “GSR” was not a protected title and those with the GSR qualification could voluntarily join alternative membership associations other than BASRaT. Alan Kay had completed his undergraduate degree in Sports Rehabilitation and chose to use the abbreviation “GSR” in his professional title. On that basis we did not consider the use of the title “GSR” misleadingly implied that he was a member of BASRaT. We therefore concluded that ads (a) and (b) did not breach the Code.
We investigated ads (a) and (b) under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation), but did not find them in breach.
No further action necessary.