If you are an osteopath you probably have received a few communications recently regarding advertising regulation. This weeks blog is just a quick summary and reminder that all professions are regulated under the advertising standards, not just osteopaths!
The ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) are the regulator whilst CAP (Committee of Advertising Practice) write the codes and provide advice.
You must not advertise treatment of any conditions other than those included in the list of recognised conditions. You may be very successful at treating other conditions but unless they are included on the list you will be in breach of the law and liable to investigation by the ASA and your regulatory body. The code is very clear what can be advertised. For osteopathy the list is as follows:
- Generalised aches and pains
- Joint pains including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis as an adjunct to core OA treatments and exercise
- Arthritic pain
- General acute and chronic backache, back pain (not arising from injury or accident)
- Uncomplicated mechanical neck pain (as opposed to neck pain from injury e.g. whiplash)
- Headache arising from the neck /migraine prevention
- Frozen shoulder/shoulder and elbow pain/tennis elbow arising from associated musculoskeletal conditions of the back and neck but not isolated occurences
- Circulatory problems
- Digestion problems
- Joint pains
- Muscle spasms
- Inability to relax
- Rheumatic pain
- Minor sports injuries and tensions
The Advertising Regulations apply to all forms of printed and online marketing. This includes magazines, leaflets, websites, all social media, apps, direct mail and so on – all your advertising and promotion must be compliant.
CAP provide a very helpful copy advice service – free to use and they usually respond within 24 hours. Just send in your copy and they will reply with advice on whether it meets the standards.