Saturday, 24 April 2010

The Cisca Saltpipe - based on 'ancient salt cave therapy'

Attention novice ASA complainants!

Take a look at this advert for the 'Cisca Saltpipe'.

Then read these 'clinical references', and see if you can spot the problems.

Finally, compare your answers with mine (detailed in this ASA complaint)!

"I write to complain about an advert in "Natural Health" magazine (May 2010, p108).

The advert, for Cisca Ltd, promotes the "Cisca Saltpipe".

I suspect that the advert may be in breach of one section of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP) code. I can provide an original copy of the advert by post, if required.

1. The advertisers, on their website, provide three "clinical references" for the saltpipe[1]. It is noteable that of the "references", none appear to have been published in peer-reviewed medical journals, two lack any control groups at all, and two are trials each involving a group of just ten participants.

2. The CAP Code, Section 50.1, states "Medical and scientific claims made about beauty and health-related products should be backed by evidence, where appropriate consisting of trials conducted on people..."

3. I challenge whether any of the following claims are backed by evidence, where appropriate consisting of clinical trials conducted on people:

(i) The saltpipe is effective for breathing difficulties
(ii) The saltpipe is effective for shortness of breath
(iii) The saltpipe is effective for chesty and dry coughs
(iv) The saltpipe is effective for nasal congestion
(v) Air "draw[n] across...mineral salt" will "reach every part of your respiratory system"
(vi) The saltpipe "induce[s] self cleaning [sic] and improve[s] our breathing without any side effects"

4. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser, the magazine, or with the publishing and alternative medicine industries in general. I confirm that I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser or the magazine.