A website for infrared devices retailer Get Fitt, seen on 16 March 2019. Along the top of the page were a number of tabs which included “Far Infrared”. This led to another page that stated “Far Infrared for ADHD. Get Fitt Far Infrared for ADHD. Hyperactive children with ADHD is a tough one. Especially for the parents as sleep is hard to come by; so often the kids will be up most of the night. Also of course the children suffer a lot as they are not sleeping much, they can be seriously irritable and unhappy campers. Take a look at this case study of a mum who used our Get Fitt Far Infrared systems with their kids….who loved it and started to sleep and even grow an inch in one month!” Another tab stated “Far Infrared for Lyme Disease” which led to text that stated “Lyme disease has to be one of the all-time conditions that takes a huge toll on the sufferer and frankly life can be totally miserable as many people are in pain most of the time and often have little or no energy to do anything. So if there is something that can help in any way then this is good news. “See Katie’s heart-warming account of the challenges she has faced and her experience with the Get Fitt Advanced 3.0 Far Infrared Technology. This is a must view for those suffering with Lyme.” Another section titled Get Fitt Far Infrared for Fibromyalgia stated “Fibromyalgia is not much fun and normally involves widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, sleep, memory and mood disruption. Many people are constantly in pain all the time and suffering daily. This video was shot after 1 single 15 minute treatment using our Soma professional Far Infrared System. Alison’s pain score reduced from a 6 out of 10 (10 being total Pain) to a 2 out of 10 (Zero being no pain).” Another sub-section of the website titled “Get Fitt Far Infrared for Low Blood Pressure” included a video testimonial in which an interviewer asked “Any other things since you’ve been doing the Fitt Far Infrared.” The interviewee then said “My blood pressure has gone up which is good for me because I’ve got chronically low blood pressure, so it’s approaching normal now.”
The complainant challenged whether: 1. the ads discouraged essential treatment for low blood pressure and ADHD for which medical supervision should be sought; and 2. the claims that Infrared Light Therapy was effective in treating Lyme disease and fibromyalgia were misleading and could be substantiated.
Get Fitt Ltd t/a Get Fitt said that they planned to remove the claims on the website to ensure they were compliant with the CAP Code.
The CAP Code stated that marketers must not discourage essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought. For example, they must not offer specific advice on, diagnosis of or treatment for such conditions unless that advice, diagnosis or treatment was conducted under the supervision of a suitably qualified health professional. The ads featured the conditions low blood pressure and ADHD which we considered were ones where medical supervision should be sought, and therefore advice, diagnosis or treatment needed to be conducted under the supervision of a suitably qualified medical professional. We noted that we had not seen evidence that Get Fitt’s Infrared light therapy was provided under the supervision of a suitably qualified health professional. We considered that in absence of such a professional it could therefore discourage essential medical treatment. For those reasons, we therefore concluded that the claims breached the Code.
On that point ads (a) and (b) breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 12.2 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).
We considered consumers would understand from the ad that Get Fitt’s Infrared light therapy could treat or diagnose Lyme disease and fibromyalgia. We therefore considered that a suitable body of evidence would be required to support each of the claims, such as double-blinded randomised control trial procedures conducted on people. Although we welcomed Get Fitt’s assurance that they would seek CAP’s advice about how to ensure their claims were compliant we did not receive any evidence that substantiated either of the ad’s claims. In the absence of sufficient evidence to substantiate the claims that Get Fitt’s Infrared light therapy could treat fibromyalgia and Lyme disease we considered they were misleading and therefore breached the Code.
On that point ads (a) and (b) 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 again in its current form. We told Get Fitt not to claim or imply that Infrared light therapy could treat conditions unless they held adequate evidence to demonstrate that was the case. We also told them not to reference conditions for which medical supervision was necessary.