Bay Reflexology Digital Marketing
COMPLAINT NUMBER 17/086
COMPLAINANT M Honeychurch
ADVERTISER Bay Reflexology ADVERTISEMENT Bay Reflexology Digital Marketing DATE OF MEETING 23 March 2017
Advertisement: The advertisement on the Hawkes Bay Health Collective Bay Reflexology website - http://www.hawkesbayhealthcollaborative.nz/bay-reflexology.html - describes what Reflexology is and what conditions might benefit from it.
The Chair ruled the complaint was Settled.
Complainant, M Honeychurch, said: Bay Reflexology make therapeutic claims about their services:
"Reflexology is suitable for anyone. It may be used to ease immune-related diseases, such as hay fever or arthritis; help with chronic pain relief; lighten mental illnesses, such as anxiety or depression; balance hormones during menopause; help support you before, during and after pregnancy; alleviate cancer symptoms; and much much more."
These claims breach the ASA's Therapeutic and Health Advertising Code. Specifically, Rule
1(c) is breached as the advert is suggesting an unrealistic outcome that reflexology is able to treat serious physical health conditions (including cancer) and mental health conditions
(such as depression).
Rule 2(a) has also been breached, as the claims that reflexology can help with hay fever, arthritis, chronic pain, anxiety, depression or cancer symptoms have not been substantiated by the advertiser. It seems unlikely that there is good quality evidence for these claims, and a quick search of Cochrane has failed to find anything compelling enough to be considered justification for making definite therapeutic claims.
The relevant provisions were Therapeutic and Health Advertising Code - Guideline
1(c), Guideline 2(a), Principle 1, Principle 2;
The Chair noted the Complainant's concern that the advertisement makes unsubstantiated
claims that reflexology can treat a range of conditions.
Given the Advertiser's co-operative engagement with the process and the self-regulatory action taken in amending the advertisement, the Chair said that it would serve no further purpose to place the matter before the Complaints Board. The Chair ruled that the matter was settled.
Chai r' s Ruling: Complaint Settled