Consumer News

ASA Rules on Homeopathy Ads

The ASA has ordered the Society of Homeopaths to discontinue misleading advertising.

Consumer News

ASA Rules on Homeopathy Ads

The UK Advertising Standards Authority (The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is a self-regulatory body that monitors advertising in the United Kingdom.) recently investigated advertising claims made by the Society of Homeopaths on its website and social media platforms. The Society had made claims related to the treatment of depression, allergies and other upper respirator tract infections, ankle sprains, bronchitis, childhood diarrhea, chronic fatigue, ear infections, fibromyalgia, hay fever, influenza, osteoarthritis, premenstrual syndrome, rheumatic diseases, sinusitis, and vertigo. They advertised that homeopathy could effectively treat these conditions and, in the case of depression, went as far as to discourage diagnosed patients from getting essential medical care.

Homeopathy is based on two principles: “like cures like,” meaning conditions can be treated by taking substances that produce similar symptoms; and “law of minimum dose,” meaning lower doses of medication are more effective. Following these principles, homeopathic medicines often contain very diluted amounts of active ingredients that may be harmful at higher doses.

After an investigation, the ASA determined that the Society of Homeopaths had breached their Code of Advertising Practices (CAP).

We considered that consumers would interpret the claims in the ad to mean that robust scientific evidence supported the use of homeopathy to treat the listed conditions and that the ad encouraged these consumers to consider consulting a homeopath with a view to obtaining advice on or treatment for their conditions.

We acknowledged that some individuals who preferred their holistic approach may report benefits to their wellbeing from a therapy session with a homeopath. However, the CAP Code required health claims to be backed by evidence, which would be assessed on the basis of the available scientific knowledge. The most robust form of evidence when referring to conditions in this way was that relating to efficacy and evidence of self-reported benefits was therefore not sufficient.

The Society of Homeopaths has been ordered to discontinue the advertising in question and to avoid similar claims in the future.


You Might Be Interested In

Fungus Eliminator

Ad Alert

Fungus Eliminator

Forty-five million Americans are ‘fighting a losing battle’ against toenail fungus. Could this supplement be the solution?