Thursday, 21 May 2009

Advertising Standards ruling on chiropractic appears to back up Simon Singh's view

Dear reader, our blog has moved to a new address.

Do come on over (and change your bookmarks accordingly):

A new ruling by the Advertising Standards Agency on an ad placed by Edgware-based chiropractors Dr Carl Irwin and Associates is of great interest given the ongoing legal battle between Simon Singh and the British Chiropractic Association. The ASA have adjudicated following a complaint relating to this advertisement placed in a magazine:
"Dr Carl Irwin and Associates CHIROPRACTORS. Back, Neck, Shoulder, Arm and Leg Pain, Sports Injury, Joint Problems, IBS, Colic, Learning Difficulties, Cranial Treatment for Mothers and Babies. To discuss any area of your health with our Doctors, call for a FREE Consultation."
Having seen this ad, the person complaining raised the question of whether "Dr. Carl Irwin and Associates could substantiate the implied claim that their therapies could successfully treat some of the conditions mentioned, in particular IBS, colic and learning difficulties".

And here's what the ASA, which upheld the complaint, said:
"We considered that, whilst some of the studies indicated that further research was worth pursuing, in particular in relation to the chiropractic relief of colic, we had not seen robust clinical evidence to support the claim that chiropractic could treat IBS, colic and learning difficulties."
This was following the submission of evidence from the chiropractors, who have also had to agree not to refer to themselves as "doctors" in future advertising. The final ruling from the ASA was as follows:
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Dr. Carl not to refer to the treatment of IBS, colic and learning difficulties in future.
This ruling clearly supports the view expressed by Simon Singh in his Guardian article on chiropractors, as it was in relation to the BCA's claims that they can treat childhood problems like colic that Singh made his disputed claims about chiropractic.

However, while this is interesting, I'm unsure whether an Advertising Standards Agency ruling can actually have any implications for an ongoing legal case. The legal blogger Jack of Kent, who has been spearheading the campaign in support of Simon Singh, said earlier on Twitter that he plans to blog on this story this evening, so I suggest you check in on his site later, and I'll also link to it tomorrow morning.


chiropractor in dc said...

wow that is pretty crazy