The General Regulatory Council for Complementary Therapists has issued a Notice which makes it very clear that the Advertising Standards Authority do not have the remit to target complementary therapists in the way that they have been doing over the past year. This is excellent news as their stance has been making it difficult to say we can help with anything at all! Bucketloads of experiential and anecdotal evidence was not enough for them, they wanted hard evidence, which in our world is pretty thin on the ground!
Homeopaths were first in the line of fire and have been having a very difficult time of it; the ASA looked like they were going to work through all of us in time and there was a feeling of a powerful anti-therapies agenda at work behind the scenes. In my opinion the GRCCT just earned every penny of my membership fee with this clear Notice:
Here is the text of the GRCCT Notice:
GRCCT ADVISORY RELEASE Circulation: Open Release: 21.11.11
Advertising Standards Authority
Extension of remit relative to practitioners of Complementary Medicine
On 1st March 2011 the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) extended its voluntary remit to advertisers own marketing communications on their own websites and in other non-paid-for space online under their control.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) are self regulatory bodies. Adherence to their requirements is not mandated under law. ASA and CAP are funded by voluntary levy and their operation is based on an agreement between advertisers, agencies and the media owners.
The ASA has no statutory power of enforcement and consumer protection regulations remain unchanged.
There is no requirement under law for practitioners of complementary medicine to follow instruction from ASA.
There is no requirement under law for practitioners of complementary medicine to respond to communication from ASA.
English law allows actions for libel to be brought in the High Court for any published statements which are alleged to defame a named or identifiable individual (or individuals) in a manner which causes them loss in their trade or profession, or causes a reasonable person to think worse of him, her or them.
GRCCT look forward to working with CAP on a revised code more appropriate to public protection in relation to providers of Complementary Therapy. Concerns in regard to false or misleading statements can be addressed to the Office of Fair Trading who may exercise their long existing powers of action under the Trading Standards legislation.
Concerns in regard to treatment or practitioner competence for nationally regulated Complementary Therapies should be addressed to the GRCCT.
Notes for Editors:The GRCCT is the larger of the two voluntary regulatory bodies for practitioners of Complementary Medicine in the UK. The Complementary Therapies regulated by GRCCT are practised by in excess of 50,000 practitioners in the UK.
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