Four websites, http://metreatmentclinic.com, www.kaizenhomeopathy.co.uk, http://kaizenclinic.co.uk and http://eczemacureclinic.com, for a homeopathy clinic, all featured text that referred to the founder and Managing Director of the clinic as a "Senior Consultant".
The complainant challenged whether the references to 'Senior Consultant' were misleading and could be substantiated.
Kaizen Clinic Ltd t/a The Kaizen Clinic, The Eczema Cure Clinic & M.E. Treatment Clinic (Kaizen Clinic) said the references to "Senior Consultant" were intended to reflect that the founder and Managing Director was the most senior and experienced member within the practice.
Kaizen Clinic believed the ads made clear that they did not offer mainstream medicine. They said that, in medicine the word consultant was used in conjunction with the individual's specialism. They pointed out that the claims did not follow that format. In that context, they believed the ads did not imply that the founder was a medically qualified doctor.
The ASA noted the ads included claims that the clinics were specialists in treating a number of health conditions. In that context, we considered consumers would understand the references to “Senior Consultant” meant that the founder and Managing Director was a medically qualified doctor, registered with the GMC, who had attained the title of senior consultant, rather than being the most senior and experienced member within the practice.
Because we understood the founder and Managing Director was not a medically qualified doctor, registered with the GMC, who had attained the title of senior consultant, we concluded that the claims had not been substantiated and were therefore misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 3.7 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation. (Substantiation).
The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Kaizen Clinic Ltd to ensure future claims were not likely to mislead.