Wednesday, 28 January 2009

ASA censures Stephen Green over HPV vaccine claim

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The Advertising Standards Agency is really becoming the scourge of Stephen Green's life (although the constant homophobic rage he's in can't be good for him either), and naturally we're feeling really sorry for him.

You see, while he was busy trying to get the Atheist Bus Campaign investigated for misleading the public, he was actually being investigated for actually misleading the public in a rather harmful manner. Last year, Green's Christian "Lone" Voice organisation placed an ad in the New Statesman that claimed that widespread use of the HPV vaccine, which is set to protect future generations of women against cervical cancer, will lead to an increase in teenage infertility. Green also made the same claim in relation to teenage pregnancy, abortion and the spread of sexual transmitted infections.

Following a complaint that these claims were misleading and could not be substantiated, the ASA investigated and, despite Green arguing that he (sorry, Christian Voice) was only expressing an opinon, has just issued the following decision:
The ASA noted Christian Voice's response. We considered, however, that the claim "Every government initiative, including the HPV vaccine, will increase it [teenage infertility]" was a statement of fact that was a matter open to substantiation. We noted the webpage submitted by Christian Voice, but we did not consider that that webpage in itself was sufficient to support the claim. Because we had not seen robust, scientific evidence that the HPV vaccine caused infertility in teenagers, we concluded that the claim had not been substantiated and was misleading.
In terms of technicalities, the ruling states that Green breached guidelines on "Principles", "Substantiation" and "Truthfulness" (how very un-Christian of you, Stephen) and the ASA has banned the ad from appearing again and has "told Christian Voice not to repeat the implied claim that the HPV vaccine would result in teenage infertility."

So it's nice to see that a claim of "there's probably a link between the HPV vaccine and infertility, so better to just leave teenage girls exposed to cervical cancer" is considered much more misleading and harmful (i.e. actually misleading and harmful) than a claim of "There's probably no God". For the second time in precisely one week – sorry Stephen.


Wasp_Box said...

Oh dear me. Old "Birdshit" Green is a constant source of entertainment.

scottmaciver said...

If chritian voice does get into financial trouble because of Greens current trouble with the courts I think we should all put money into the organisation.

clearly they are a great boon to nontheists everywhere.