Friday, 19 March 2010

*Sue Moon - the "amazingly accurate" psychic

In the wake of my recent defeats in the cases of Stephen Holbrook and Sue Hudd, I have been studying carefully the ASA's guidance on psychics and mediums.

Apparently, in order for the ASA to take action, adverts must contain specific claims (of accuracy, for example) - it's not enough that they simply claim to be "psychics".

This lady seems to fit the bill.

UPDATE, 27 Mar:
ASA advise "With regards to [Moon Predicitions], we've previously advised against this type of approach and we will therefore pass [this case] to our Compliance department for action."

My standard ASA complaint, updated to question Sue's claim of "amazing accuracy", follows.

"I write to complain about an advert in “Spirit And Destiny” magazine (April 2010, page 91), which promotes a telephone psychic reading service for Sue Moon of "Moon Predictions".

I suspect that the advert is in breach of one section of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP) code.

I have submitted a scan of the advert. The advert is towards the bottom right-hand corner of the page. I can provide an original copy of the advert by post, if required.

1. The CAP Code, Section 3.1, states "Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove all claims, whether direct or implied, that are capable of objective substantiation."

2. Given that the advert makes no mention of "magic", "illusions" or "for entertainment", and given that the advert makes an explicit claim of accuracy, I challenge whether the advertiser holds documentary evidence for the claim that Moon Predicitions can provide "amazingly accurate personalised psychic readings".

3. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser, with the magazine, or with the publishing industry in general. I confirm that I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser or the magazine.

4. I confirm that I am happy to be identified as the complainant."

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