The UK advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority, has today ruled that claims made by the Society of Homeopathy and the pro-homeopathy propaganda group H:MC21 misled the public.
The claims, which were made in a paid advertisement in the New Statesman magazine and on the Society's twitter page and website, were followed by complaints from members of the public and from the Nightingale Collaboration. It is expected the ASA will use the rulings as precedent in future investigations of homeopaths' advertising claims.
Mike Hall, speaking for the 10:23 Campaign, said:
"The importance of these rulings should not be underestimated. For a long time now, regulators have seemingly turned a blind eye to the misleading claims made by homeopaths. The result is confused patients making poor healthcare decisions based on bad information.
"That the Society of Homeopaths, supposedly the respectable face of homeopathy in the UK, was behind many of these misleading claims is alarming. Especially as their Code of Conduct explicitly prohibits making claims which contravene the advertising code of practice.
"Similarly, that the Society was not able to provide sufficient evidence to substantiate their claims says a lot about the evidence base for homeopathy. One can only assume the Society submitted their best, most robust data - and the ASA still found it lacking."
The full text of the rulings against the Society of Homeopaths and H:MC21 are available to read online. There is also a full analysis of these rulings from our friends at the Nightingale Collaboration.