British Advertising Standards Authority
Adjudication on Dr. Batras' Positive Health Clinic (UK) Ltd
27 April 2011

Dr. Batras' Positive Health Clinic (UK) Ltd
3rd Floor
Front North Suite
17 Harley Street
London
W1G 9QH

Date: 27 April 2011
Media: Regional press
Sector: Health and beauty
Number of complaints: 1
Complaint Ref: 146982

Ad

A regional press ad, for Dr Batra's Positive Health Clinic, was headed "Freedom from ... Psoriasis." Text stated "Dr Batra's. World's largest Homeopathic Healthcare Corporate with a track record in treating Psoriasis now comes to Harley Street. Dr Batra's is internationally recognised for successfully treating more than 25,000 cases of psoriasis. Chat with our expert doctors between 9am - 4pm". The ad also featured a logo which stated "Dr Batra's" and the website address "www.drbartras.com".

Issue

The complainant challenged whether:

1. the use of the term "Dr" in the company name was misleading because it implied the advertiser was medically qualified;

2. the claim "expert doctors" misleadingly implied that staff at Dr Batras were medically qualified;

3. the claims "Freedom from ... Psoriasis" and "Worlds largest Homeopathic Healthcare Corporate with a track record in treating Psoriasis now comes to Harley Street" made reference to a serious medical condition and could therefore discourage essential treatment.

CAP Code (Edition 12)
3.1 3.3 12.2

Response

1. & 2. Dr Batras Positive Health Clinic (UK) Ltd (Dr Batras) said Dr. Batras was their brand name and was a registered trade mark with the required authorities in India and the UAE and was under application in the UK, in relation to their brand name, brand colouring and logo. They said that Mukesh Batra, the Chairman and Managing Director of the company was a fully qualified and institutionally trained doctor and had been practising homeopathy since 1974. They said he was an honorary member of the U.K. Homeopathic Medical Association and trained and shared his 36 years of experience with all 275 doctors working at Dr Batras practices across the country.

3. The advertisers did not comment on that point of complaint.

Assessment

1. Upheld

The ASA understood that Dr Batra had been practising homeopathy for over 30 years, but noted that we had not seen any evidence which showed that he held a general medical qualification. In addition, although we understood that the "Dr Batra" brand name was trademarked in some parts of the world, we noted that the brand name was not yet a registered trademark in the UK. Although we considered that readers would understand that the ad was promoting a clinic which offered homeopathic treatments, because we considered that the use of the term "Dr" in the company name implied that Dr Batra was medically qualified, and because we had not seen any evidence that that was the case, we concluded that the ad was misleading.

On that point, the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 12.2 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).

2. Upheld

We noted that the ad stated "Chat with our expert doctors between 9am - 4pm" and considered that readers would therefore understand that the Dr Batras Clinic staff who responded to their queries during those times would be medically trained. Because we had not seen any evidence that that was the case, we concluded the ad was likely to mislead.

On that point, the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 12.2 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).

3. Upheld

We considered that the reference to "Freedom from ... Psoriasis" and the claim that Dr Batras Clinic had a "track record in treating Psoriasis", implied that the advertisers could treat psoriasis. We therefore considered that the ad could discourage readers from seeking essential medical treatment for that condition, and concluded that the ad breached the Code.

On that point, the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 12.2 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).

Action

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told the advertisers to remove the claims "Dr", "expert doctors" and the claims relating to the efficacy of homeopathy treatment on psoriasis.

Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)

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