British Advertising Standards Authority
Adjudication on Live Blood Test t/a Errol Denton (2013)

Live Blood Test
LBT FZE 
City Tower 1 
Sheikh Zayed Road 
Dubai 
United Arab Emirates

Date: 27 February 2013
Number of complaints: 2
Complaint Ref: A13-242026

Background

Summary of Council decision:

Four issues were investigated and all were Upheld

Ad Description

a. Claims for live blood testing on www.erroldenton.wordpress.com stated "Errol Denton says that Crohn's disease is not a disease at all and that it is the result of poor dietary habits causing inflammation to its unwitting victims. He states that blood cells of a Crohn's sufferer is identifiable [sic] by its distinct abnormal tattered shape." Claims below stated "Yet again, the doctor's solution is to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs which only suppresses the symptoms and not deal with the root causes".

Claims below stated "It is now high time to look at a safe natural alternative that works. An alternative that works every time with no negative side effects. It is time to look at what Errol Denton at Live Blood Test Harley Street is doing with his clients and the awesome results he has achieved with treating Crohn's disease. The healthy side effect to Errol's natural treatment is no more internal bleeding in 72 hours! Errol Denton has been achieving astonishing health results like these for many years. There are just a few of the thousands of his case studies on his website but they give a clear indication of the resounding success of his natural treatments".

Claims on a page titled "Errol Denton Quack Doctor Or Super Healer Revolutionary Live Blood Analysis Expert?" stated "Errol has treated conditions such as Arthritis, Cancer. Diabetes. Gout etc etc all by using food as a medicine".

b. Claims on www.livebloodtest.com under the tab "Iridology" stated "Iridology is the study of the eyes, particularly the iris. Your eyes serve as 'windows' to the state of your heath, with the iris revealing information about your entire body ... An iris analysis is a preventative tool offering many benefits, and is of value to adults and children alike. Learning about and understanding your genetic constitution will help you understand chronic health problems, including allergies, arthritis, diabetes, eczema, high blood pressure, fatigue, hormonal imbalances, and many others".

Issue

The complainant challenged whether;

  1. One complainant challenged whether ad (a) discouraged essential treatment for Crohn's Disease; a condition for which medical supervision should be sought.
  2. A second complainant challenged whether the claims "Errol has treated conditions such as Arthritis, Cancer. Diabetes. Gout etc etc all by using food as a medicine" in ad (a) discouraged essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought.
  3. The first complainant challenged whether the claims, in ad (b) that Iridology could "help you understand chronic health problems, including arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure" discouraged essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought.
  4. The first complainant challenged whether the claims in ad (b) that Iridology was effective and could "help you understand chronic health problems, including allergies . . . eczema . . . fatigue, hormonal imbalances, and many others" were misleading and could be substantiated.

Response

Live Blood Test (LBT) said their business was based in Dubai, UAE and believed that claims made on their websites were therefore outside the remit of the ASA.

Assessment

The ASA noted that Errol Denton was based in the UAE but the UAE did not operate a local authority to whom we could refer the complaints. The CAP Code stated that in such circumstances, if the marketing communication were targeted to the UK, the ASA would take what action it could. We were therefore disappointed by Errol Denton's decision not to respond to the complaint which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their obligation to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.

1–3. Upheld

We considered that the listed conditions were conditions for which medical supervision should be sought and that advice, diagnosis and treatment for them should only be conducted under the supervision of a suitably qualified health professional. However, we had not seen evidence that was the case in this instance. We concluded that, because those claims could encourage consumers to seek treatment from the advertiser rather than a qualified health professional, they could discourage essential treatment for those conditions and were therefore in breach of the Code.

On these points the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 12.2 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).

4. Upheld

We considered that the claims that iridology was effective and could treat or diagnose allergies, eczema, fatigue and hormonal imbalances were breakthrough claims that needed to be substantiated with a body of robust scientific evidence, such as clinical trials conducted on people. Because Errol Denton had not responded to the complaint, we had not seen evidence to support the claims and concluded that they were unsubstantiated and therefore misleading.

On this point the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 12.1 and 12.612.6Marketers should not falsely claim that a product is able to cure illness, dysfunction or malformations. (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).

Action

The claims must not appear again in their current form. We referred the matter to CAP's Compliance team.


CAP Code (Edition 12) 

12.1     12.10     12.2     3.1     3.7    



This article was posted on March 23, 2018

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