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Advertising Standards Authority Adjudication Allergy Testing Service




This is one of series of reproductions on this website of adjudication decisions given by the Advertising Standards Authority in response to complaints made by members of the public about advertisements and related publicity promotion placed in the past by therapists and related organisations working in the Complementary and Alternative Medicine sector.


The reproduction has been made in accordance with the copyright conditions of the ASA whose website may be found by clicking here.


Reproduction of the adjudication decision on this page does not imply endorsement of the other content of this website by the ASA. Reproduction is made purely for information purposes to raise awareness amongst therapists of the existence of advertising standards and the requirement to comply with them.


The reproduction of this and other adjudication decisions on this website give examples of advertisements placed in good faith by therapists and related organisations in the past but which were judged not to meet required advertising standards.


From 1st September 2010, the scope of jurisdiction of the ASA has been extended to include all forms of digital publicity and promotional communications. This means that for the first time the promotional activity of the majority of therapists falls under the remit of the ASA and many will need to change the content of their websites and to change the content of their electronic communications to comply with current advertising standards.


A brief summary of the overall framework for the overall quality control of advertising in the UK including legislation and both statutory and non-statutory regulation can be found on this website by clicking here.


A directory of all the ASA adjudication decisions posted to this website together with a reproduction of the Advertising Codes may be found by clicking here.







Adjudication Allergy Testing Service


May 1999

Allergy Testing Service
27 Bridge Street
WA12 9BE




Allergycare objected to a leaflet that was headlined "Allergy Testing Service. Are you suffering from: Headaches/Migraine, Overweight, Tired-ness, Bloating, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Skin Rashes, Arthritis, PMT. Our qualified testers are here to help you." It continued by advertising another Bio Resonance Therapy (BRT) test, which measured and replicated the patient's body's electro-magnetic vacillations. The leaflet stated "A small group of people may require desensitisation to certain foods including wheat, milk and yeast, or toxins such as mercury. The Bicom can help desensitise the body to these substances and their effects. As well as helping numerous medical conditions such as arthritis, chronic fatigue and irritable bowel syndrome we can also help improve sports performance and general fitness."


The complainants challenged whether:

1. the advertisers could substantiate the efficacy of the Bicom; and
2. the advertisement should include references to serious conditions such as arthritis and migraines.
(Code sections 3.1, 7.1, 50.1, 50.2)




1. Complaint upheld

The advertisers provided: copies of newspaper articles on the Bicom Bio-Resonance Therapy (BRT); the manufacturers' guidelines and directions for use; letters from satisfied customers; two books that outlined the theory behind BRT; and a compendium of papers on the effects of electromagnetic waves on humans and animals. The advertisers said they would remove the references to Bicom therapy from future advertisements and would instead promote nutrition, diet and lifestyle changes to improve general health. The Authority welcomed the advertisers' changes but noted it had not seen substantiation to show that the Bicom worked, either generally or on the conditions listed. Because the advertisers had not demonstrated the efficacy of the test, the Authority asked the advertisers to take copy advice before advertising again.


2. Complaint upheld

The advertisers did not respond to this complaint in writing. The Authority was concerned that readers might infer from the advertisement that the advertisers could identify and treat serious medical conditions such as migraine and arthritis without the need to seek medical advice. It told the advertisers not to refer to serious medical conditions in their advertisements in future



Date of posting : 31st August 2010