Misleading advertising of magnets. Office of Fair Trading acts
A major problem in stopping CAM fraud is the generally toothless attitude of the Advertising Standards Authority and of the Office of Fair Trading. Not this time though. The OFT Press Release reads thus.
“The OFT is seeking an injunction preventing publication of advertisements making the following claims about the company’s products:
- the products have a therapeutic effect, caused by a specified physiological mechanism, due to the magnets they contain
- the therapeutic effect of the products, due to the magnets they contain, is clinically proven or established by scientific trials, or is widely accepted in the scientific or medical communities
- unqualified claims the products have a therapeutic effect and/or that wearing products containing magnets will always produce such an effect, due to their magnets
- that products magnetise or ionise water as a result of the magnets they contain.
Magno-Pulse Limited contends that the advertisements are not misleading and has refused to stop publishing adverts making these kinds of claims. Accordingly, the OFT has issued proceedings so the courts can decide the matter. Magno-Pulse Limited has indicated it intends to defend the proceedings.
Christine Wade, Director of Consumer Regulation Enforcement said:
“Where advertisements claim products have therapeutic effects it is important they do not mislead consumers. The OFT is asking the High Court to decide if Magno-Pulse Limited?s advertisements are misleading.”
It cannot have escaped the attention of the PPA (above) that this action makes them look pretty foolish.
Let’s hope the High Court is not fooled.
Magnets: ruling against false advertising
The amazing decision of the Prescription Pricing Authority to allow the NHS to pay for magnetic bandages has been covered in detail here (part 1, part 2, part 3), as has the extreme reluctance of the PPA and the Department of Health to give any useful information (here, and here). More on this topic elsewhere. Eventually the decision was referred to the Office of Fair Trading has delivered its judgement. MagnoPulse Limited was told to remove most of its absurd claims from its advertising.
It remains to be seen whether the PPA admit their mistake and reverse their decision.