ASA Adjudication on Maureen Bowman
54 Nine Lands
Houghton Le Spring
Tyne and Wear
29 August 2012
Internet (on own site)
Health and beauty
Number of complaints:
Claims on www.maureenbowman.co.uk stated "Hypnotherapy is the art of using hypnosis to help with medical cures ... Hypnotherapy has hundreds of uses, below I list a few ... Alcohol addictions ... Eating disorders ... Blood pressure ... Multiple Sclerosis".
An internet user understood that Maureen Bowman was not medically qualified and challenged whether the references to Multiple Sclerosis, blood pressure, eating disorders and alcohol addiction, might discourage essential treatment for conditions for which qualified medical supervision should be sought.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Maureen Bowman said she was reluctant to remove the references to Multiple Sclerosis, blood pressure, eating disorders and alcohol addiction, because people would be unaware that she would be able to help them. She said she always ensured that her clients had been seen by a doctor first.
The ASA noted the claims referring to Multiple Sclerosis, blood pressure, eating disorders and alcohol addiction and the claim that hypnotherapy could be used to "help with medical cures" and considered that those claims offered treatment and cures for those conditions. We also considered that they were conditions for which qualified medical supervision should be sought. The CAP Code states marketers must not discourage essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought; for example, they should not offer specific advice on, diagnosis of or treatment for such conditions unless that advice, diagnosis or treatment was conducted under the supervision of a suitably qualified health professional. We noted we had not seen evidence to show Maureen Bowman was a suitably qualified health professional and therefore concluded that the claims could discourage essential treatment for those conditions.
The claims breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 12.2 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).
The claims must not appear again in their current form. We told Maureen Bowman not to refer to conditions for which medical supervision was required.