This week’s ASA Adjudications: One complaint upheld about misleading health claims

I’m wondering whether it is worthwhile blogging each week about ASA adjudications related to misleading health related claims. This week there was just the one so I have time to examine it in detail

It was against Esher Mail Order Ltd. (trading as Clifford James). The email ad for a foot massage device stated ‘if you suffer with any type of swelling, aches, pains, fluid retention, sore muscles, or conditions related to poor circulation then the Electronic Foot Massager and Circulator could change your life!’

The complainant, High Tech Health, challenged whether various claims were misleading and could be substantiated, whether the name of the product misleadingly implied that the device could increase circulation and whether the device was properly certified.

The ASA themselves challenged whether the ad discouraged essential treatment. They concluded that the ad had breached CAP codes on all the above points and must not appear again in its current form.

This is very encouraging! I am pleased to see the ASA themselves challenged whether the ad discouraged people from consulting a health professional and I think the whole phrase they used could come in handy:

‘discouraged essential treatment by offering treatment for serious medical conditions (lists conditions here…), without the supervision of a doctor or other suitably qualified health professional’.

My compliments to the ASA – but I wonder have they seen the Clifford James website..?

It offers a ‘Circulation Doctor’ Electronic Foot Massager which will, so they claim, help improve swellings, aches and pains, fluid retention, sore muscles and poor circulation. All for only £129.95!


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