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Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Things #homeopathy websites have been told not to claim by the ASA - a small collection

This is not exhaustive, but if you are a homeopath or marketing homeopathic remedies or treatment on your website it's perhaps best to be aware of what is and isn't permitted.

I spotted a new ASA adjudication about claims made on a website called 'Happy Homeopathy' which had a bit at the end listing the health conditions for which claims of 'treatment' should not be made. Here it is in screenshot form.

The following, then, is an alphabetical listing of information taken from ASA adjudications and probably the CAP code too, and I'll add to it as time passes and I hear about more things. Best way to find a word in the list is to use Ctrl+F or Command+F for Mac users.

Thanks to input from others, let me know if you find something else (remember it must be in an ASA adjudication or known about from informally resolved activities).

The ASA tends to ask homeopaths not to claim or imply that they can treat these conditions or people suffering from, or at risk from (eg homeoprophylaxis) them:
cold flushes
dengue fever (prevention of)
diphtheria prevention
'flu (see influenza)
genital warts
gosh it's quite a long list isn't it!!
hot flushes
heavy periods
influenza (prevention of)
irregular periods
Japanese encephalitis prevention ('homeoprophylaxis')
loss of libido
low mood
malaria prevention
menopausal symptoms
meningitis prevention
mood swings
mosquito bites
night sweats
other skin problems
polio prevention
serious medical conditions (this could include asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure etc)
side-effects of the Pill
tetanus prevention
tick-borne encephalitis prevention
typhoid prevention
vaginal dryness
yellow fever prevention

Other iffy claims
People should not claim that "homeopathy (is) accepted as an effective treatment by the UK government and the NHS" and the ASA doesn't seem to be terribly impressed if someone creates a non-selling website with lots of misleading health-related claims but also sells homeopathy from a separate site.

The list above includes claims originally made by the following companies or people (some claims may have now been removed)
Comfort Click
Dr Batras' Positive Health Clinic
Happy Homeopathy
Herbal Apothecary (informally resolved) 
Islington Homeopathy Clinic, which is also on the non-compliant advertisers list for persistently failing to remove misleading claims despite being asked
Steve Scrutton homeopathy

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Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).