Homeopath's ad hinted she could treat symptoms of autism

A homeopath has been told by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) not to run a Facebook advert in its current form again as it gave the impression she could treat the symptoms of autism, writes Stephen Rogers.

The ad by Almond Homeopathy said she had “the great pleasure of meeting and working with many children diagnosed with ASD and the greater pleasure and joy of helping them overcome many of their symptoms that were holding them and their families back from getting the most out of life”.

It also referenced a blog which contained a reference to a child whose “learning, relationships and speech” had improved.

The complainant objected to the claim that the advertiser could alleviate the symptoms of autism.

The advertiser said she was a qualified homeopath, registered with the Irish Society of Homeopaths.

People came to her with symptoms and she used the symptoms to determine what remedy may help them best.

She said she treated the person, not their condition or disease, and did not claim to be able to cure anything or anyone.

The ASAI’s complaints committee said that, while noting the advertisers’ comments that she was a qualified and licensed homeopath and registered with the Irish Society of Homeopaths, it was aware from a previous case that the Department of Health had confirmed that there was no statutory regulation of complementary therapists.

The committee also said the wording of the post and the heading of the blog post would give readers the impression she could treat the symptoms of autism.

ASAI also upheld a complaint about an ad which appeared, through a Google search for the G Hotel, offering “5* The G from €97 — Best Rates in Galway for 25 Sites — Trivago.ie”.

The G Hotel, Old Dublin Road, Galway, complained that Trivago was falsely advertising rooms through its website “from €97” for the hotel when, as a 5-star hotel, it did not have any rooms available for €97, nor was it likely to.

It said the rate advertised by Trivago cheapened its company brand and directed potential customers to click on the Trivago website, where misleading information was presented.

The advertisers, however, said they had checked the price log for The G Hotel going back a few months and, when comparing the various rates shown, uncovered that there was a mismatch between The G Hotel and another hotel. It had resulted in the price for another hotel being displayed for The G Hotel. They said they had corrected their mistake.

The ASAI Complaints Committee told Trivago it should not advertise rates for hotels unless it was in a position to demonstrate that the advertised rate was available to book.

This article first appeared in the Irish Examiner website.


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