UK Advertising Standards Authority on Co$ Leaflet

A contact passed on to me recently a response to a complaint lodged with the ASA. The complaint focused on the familiar “two out of three people suffer from STRESS!!!” leaflet, and various health claims made of Dianetics within. The ASA agreed with the complaint and requested that the leaflet be changed. He was asked not to divulge the information in the letter until the adjudication has been published. Co$ had a complaint listed today on the ASA site, which I guess means that the embargo is now over. Here’s what the ASA had to say:

“Based on the information you provided, it appears you have a valid point and, with a view to acting quickly, we have asked the Church of Scientology to change their ad. We have asked them to:

> Remove the reference on the first page to Dianetics being a discovery that makes psychiatry and psychology obsolete.
> Make clearer on the first and second pages that the “discovery” about the human mind is the belief of L Ron Hubbard and followers of Dianetics and avoid the implication that Dianetics is a theory of mind generally accepted by the entire scientific community.
> Remove the references to serious medical conditions (arthritis, coronary trouble and high blood pressure) on the back page. We have told them that a general reference to psychosomatic ills is likely to be acceptable provided that the ad does not imply certain diagnosis or cure by Dianetics. However, we have advised them to take care to avoid the implication that Dianetics alone is sufficient to address minor medical conditions because we are likely to need evidence of robust trials conducted on people to substantiate such claims.”

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