A website for Light Therapy Revolution, seen on 21 March 2019.
At the top of the page was a tab that stated “Services” which led to a page which, under the subheading “Light Therapy”, stated “Our Laser Light Therapy uses life-enriching light that is gently beamed to enter various parts of the body. This sets in motion a chain of chemical reactions within each cell that helps restore normal cell function. This stimulates the body’s own healing, often with rapid results. The chemical reaction in the cell, stimulated by the Quantum Laser Light may help facilitate the following: Reduction of pain, Reduction of any swelling or inflammation, Healing and repair of tissue, Increase in tissue strength, Dissolving of any calcification, Increase in the rate of wound healing, Stimulation of nerve function, Increase in cellular oxygenation and body detoxification, Rejuvenation of skin and collagen production”.
Text further down the page stated “Quantum Laser Technology is an extraordinary and painless way to treat any number of pain syndromes, injuries, wounds, fractures, neurological conditions and pathologies. It is particular effective for healing physical injuries.”
The complainant challenged whether the efficacy claims for all of the health conditions in the ad were misleading and could be substantiated.
GAC Group Ltd t/a Light Therapy Revolution said light therapy had been used productively to support wound healing, recovery and wellness since the late 1960s. They provided four websites which included links to a number of clinical trials and other literature about light therapy.
The ASA considered consumers would understand from the ad that Quantum Laser Light could treat and/or diagnose pain, swelling or inflammation, tissue damage, tissue weakness, calcification, wound healing, nerve function, skin and collagen production, pain syndromes, fractures, neurological conditions and pathologies and physical conditions. We therefore considered a suitable body of evidence would be required to support each of those claims.
We noted the list of websites provided by the advertiser about light therapy. One of the websites provided a journalistic overview about light therapy in general, which did not mention Quantum Laser Light treatment and did not meet the evidential standards we expected to substantiate the ad’s claims, such as a double-blinded, randomised and controlled clinical trial. One website included a meta-analysis paper regarding LED phototherapy for the use of pain control, among other health conditions. While the paper claimed that LED therapy could be used in pain control for some health conditions it was not clear how this related to Quantum Laser Light treatment or the treatment that Light Therapy Revolution otherwise offered. For those reasons we considered the paper did not sufficiently substantiate the ad’s claims.
Another website included links to four clinical trials on skin treatment, pain and depression. However, none of the studies mentioned, and it was not otherwise stated by Light Therapy Revolution, their relevance to the use of Quantum Laser Light treatment and the health conditions listed in the ad. Similarly, a third website which contained dozens of links to research papers and books on the topic of light therapy did not state whether Quantum Laser Light therapy could be used to treat the health conditions in the ad. For that reason we did not consider it sufficiently substantiated the ads’ claims.
On the basis the evidence provided did not sufficiently demonstrate that Quantum Laser Light treatment could be used in respect of the health conditions listed we therefore concluded 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).