Advertising Standards AuthorityAdjudication on ASA Ruling on Medical Thermal Imaging Ltd - Advertising Standards Authority
Medical Thermal Imaging Ltd t/a Breast Angels
Date:9 January 2013
Sector:Health and beauty
Number of complaints:1
An ad seen in What Doctors Don't Tell You magazine for Medical Thermal Imaging stated "100% Safe BREAST SCREENING ...Thermography can detect active breast abnormality before its [sic] possible with mammography ... Medically recognised". The ad included a flash which stated "BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH".
The Nightingale Collaboration challenged whether the following claims were misleading and could be substantiated:
1. "Thermography can detect active breast abnormality before its possible with mammography" was misleading and could be substantiated;
2. "Medically recognised".
CAP Code (Edition 12)
1. Medical Thermal Imaging Ltd (Medical Thermal Imaging) told us by phone that, unlike mammography that detected anatomical changes, thermography identified abnormalities early as it detected changes in physiology. They said abnormalities released nitrous oxide which was then converted to nitroglycerin and this was detected by thermography. They said because this process occurred early on in the process when an abnormality was developing, it would be undetectable with mammography.
2. Medical Thermal Imaging did not respond on this point.
1 & 2. Upheld
The ASA asked Medical Thermal Imaging to supply robust clinical evidence to support the claim that their product could detect abnormalities before mammography and that it was medically recognised. This information was not supplied.
Because the advertiser did not provide robust evidence to substantiate the claim that thermography could detect active breast abnormalities which also compared its efficacy with mammography or that it was medically recognised, we concluded the ad was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 12.1 (Medicines, medical devices, health related products and beauty products).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Medical Thermal Imaging Ltd to hold robust evidence before making efficacy claims.