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 Quackery

Wednesday, 3rd March 2010.

An American programme that claimed to cure autism breached UK advertising guidelines, a watchdog has ruled.

Adverts for the Autism Treatment Centre of America appeared in regional editions of Metro newspaper, headed “Autism Recovery” and stating: “2 hours to change your child’s life with American autism expert Raun K. Kaufman, himself fully recovered from autism.”

The ad listed dates and venues for a series of free public lectures and three testimonials.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said two readers complained that the ad was misleading because it implied that autism was a curable temporary condition and could be treated in two hours.

The Option Institute and Fellowship (OIF), which ran the programme though the Autism Treatment Centre of America, said it believed a person diagnosed with autism could make a full recovery but did not claim that every autistic person would make a full recovery.

OIF said the claim “2 hours to change your child’s life” was a reference to the duration of the advertised lecture, and they did not believe that consumers would expect the lecture itself to lead to a child’s recovery in two hours.

The ASA upheld the complaints that the advert implied a cure for autism, saying: “Because we had not seen robust scientific evidence to support the claim of recovery from autism, we concluded that the ad was misleading.”

It did not uphold complaints about the two-hour claim, saying readers were likely to understand it referred to the length of the lecture rather than the time it would take for the programme to be effective.

The ASA ruled that the advert must not appear again in its current form.

Source:  http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5g5mS0x7k-X1Pcq6cOvFWPfJi4T5g



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