Advertising Standards Authority Adjudication

May 1999

Allergy Testing Service
27 Bridge Street
WA12 9BE

Allergycare objected to a leaflet that was headlined "Allergy Testing Service. Are you suffering from: Headaches/Migraine, Overweight, Tired-ness, Bloating, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Skin Rashes, Arthritis, PMT. Our qualified testers are here to help you." It continued by advertising another Bio Resonance Therapy (BRT) test, which measured and replicated the patient's body's electro-magnetic ascillations. The leaflet stated "A small group of people may require desensitisation to certain foods including wheat, milk and yeast, or toxins such as mercury. The Bicom can help desensitise the body to these substances and their effects. As well as helping numerous medical conditions such as arthritis, chronic fatigue and irritable bowel syndrome we can also help improve sports performance and general fitness." The complainants challenged whether:
1. the advertisers could substantiate the efficacy of the Bicom; and
2. the advertisement should include references to serious conditions such as arthritis and migraines.
(3.1, 7.1, 50.1, 50.2)

1. Complaint upheld
The advertisers provided: copies of newspaper articles on the Bicom Bio-Resonance Therapy (BRT); the manufacturers' guidelines and directions for use; letters from satisfied customers; two books that outlined the theory behind BRT; and a compendium of papers on the effects of electromagnetic waves on humans and animals. The advertisers said they would remove the references to Bicom therapy from future advertisements and would instead promote nutrition, diet and lifestyle changes to improve general health. The Authority welcomed the advertisers' changes but noted it had not seen substantiation to show that the Bicom worked, either generally or on the conditions listed. Because the advertisers had not demonstrated the efficacy of the test, the Authority asked the advertisers to take copy advice before advertising again.

2. Complaint upheld
The advertisers did not respond to this complaint in writing. The Authority was concerned that readers might infer from the advertisement that the advertisers could identify and treat serious medical conditions such as migraine and arthritis without the need to seek medical advice. It told the advertisers not to refer to serious medical conditions in their advertisements in future

This article was posted on March 19, 2008..

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