ME Association complaints lead to banning of two internet ads | 8 October 2014

October 8, 2014


An internet advertisement for something called “The M.E. Cures PIONEERS OF THE SMILE M.E. CURES PROGRAMME” has today been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) following a complaint by the ME Association.

Text in the advert referred to the suitability and benefits of ‘Smile Qigong' for people with M.E. and stated that “Benefits of Smile Qigong include raised energy levels, improved focus”.

Our medical adviser, Dr Charles Shepherd, challenged whether claims to treat M.E. in both the title of the page and the description of the therapy could be substantiated.

And a further complaint by the MEA against the same practice about claims to be able to treat a number of medical conditions with various therapies was also ordered to removed.

We complained that the therapies – including thermal auricular therapy, Indian head massage and Buteyko breathing – were not being administered by qualified health professionals.

The company is run from premises in Tamworth Road, Sutton Coldfield, by Ron Prescott ND, who failed to answer the criticisms.

The ASA rulings can be read in full as follows:

ME Cures t/a Smile Gigong: www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudications/2014/10/ME-Cures/SHP_ADJ_276239.aspx#.VDT59UvC-2o

Ron Prescott ND t/a ronprescottnd.co.uk: http://www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudications/2014/10/Ron-Prescott-ND/SHP_ADJ_276338.aspx#.VDT6pkvC-2o

Dr Charles Shepherd explained the ME Association's position today. He said:

The ME Association carefully monitors all forms of advertising and promotional material that are making claims about the treatment of ME/CFS.
 
Consequently, we regularly refer unsubstantiated therapeutic claims to various regulatory bodies, including the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority), trading standards and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
 
As noted in the ASA adjudications, these investigations followed a complaint that we submitted earlier this year.
 
The ASA adjudications once again send a clear message to practitioners and product manufacturers who are making claims for success in relation to treatments for ME/CFS.
 
They should only be doing so when there is sound published evidence from clinical trials to support such claims.


How the Royal Sutton Coldfield Observer reported the story. Warning – heavy advertising content.


5 thoughts on “ME Association complaints lead to banning of two internet ads | 8 October 2014”

  1. Many, many thanks to Charles and the ME Association for successfully pursuing this complaint. This person was practising in our area and we are fed up with people who take pwme’s (particularly our support group members) money from them by promising cures and then delivering nothing. Someone needs to take a stand against these people and we are so grateful that the ME Association is doing this for us.

  2. Thank you ME Association for doing this, hope in future that more ME sufferers can be saved from pain and waisting money on such so called cures.

  3. Great news. People claiming to cure ME and people claiming they have ME they have been cured of ME when they simply have a fatigue-type illness, not neurological ME, trivialise our condition. Well done, Charles Shepherd, for fighting this one

  4. Wow. The chrysalis effect, Phil Parker and not forgetting SMILE – and this is what you choose to put time and energy into fighting?

  5. I have no idea what the ‘chrysalis effect’ is, but thank goodness that the MEA keeps challenging the charlatans who want to prey on us.
    Thank you MEA.

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