Chiswick Chiropractor Claims 'Misleading'

Watchdog upholds complaint against local spine specialist


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The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) have upheld complaints that the web site of a Chiswick based chiropractor was misleading.

They have requested that the Chiswick Chiropractic Clinic take down wording which an ASA Council meeting this week deemed in breach of their code.

The Agency were alerted to the website by a complaint from a medical doctor.

The complainant, who has not been named, took issue with the web site on the grounds he believed that it implied the chiropractor at the clinic was a doctor of medicine as opposed to a doctor of chiropractic, that the spine correction technique used there was the "most scientifically validated" and that chiropractic treatments helped with ailments like pins and needles and general headaches.

Chiswick Chiropractic Clinic (CCC) denied that such implications were made in the first and last instances, and to the second count pointed to 100 peer-reviewed studies and articles which mentioned Chiropractic Biophysics, the corrective technique used in the clinic.

The ASA nonetheless upheld the complaint on all three counts. They argued that the title 'DC' given on the homepage of the Clinic's website to Dr Jason Sykes, principle chiropractor and clinic owner, would be assumed by most consumers to signify a medical degree, rather than the title 'Doctor of Chiropractic'. This was a qualification received by Jason Sykes after studying at the Life Chiropractic College West in San Lorenzo, California.

They also concluded that there had not been sufficient evidence to claim that the corrective technique used at the clinic was more validated than other chiropractic methods.

Finally, the Agency's adjudication remarked that there was no evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of chiropractic for treating some of the ailments which, in the Council's judgement, the web site implied that it could treat. The ASA has asked the CCC to change the web site, and in the future to provide "robust documentary evidence" to support any claims.

CCC say that the web site has since been amended as required. The new site stresses that the Chiswick Clinic had been "very successful with many patients" who complained of headaches, pins-and-needles and other issues, yet admits that chiropractic "cannot help everyone".

Dr Sykes said, "My website, the reason for the ASA finding, only required minor changes to comply, and they have been made. I expect the ASA to clarify this soon." 

December 20, 2013

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