Standards Authority Adjudication – The Body Detox
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Standards Authority Adjudication
8th August 2007
The Body Detox Clinic,
17 Ridley Place,
A regional press ad, and an ad in
the Metro, for the Body Detox Clinic.
1. The regional press ad claimed "
... We are the largest clinic in the North East specialising in
colonic irrigation and detoxification programmes ... ".
2. The Metro ad was similar to ad b
and featured a testimonial that described a treatment received and, at the
bottom of the ad, text stated "Do you suffer from ... Constipation.
Diarrhoea. Bloating. Haemorrhoids. I.B.S. Colitis.
Flatulence. Bad Breath. Body Odour. Headaches.
Fatigue. M.E. Eczema. Psoriasis. Dandruff.
Acne. Joint Pain. P.M.T. Water Retention?"
1. Floataria Ltd challenged the
claim "We are the largest clinic in the North East specialising in
colonic irrigation and detoxification programmes" in ad (a), because
they believed they were the larger in terms of size, turnover, number of
employees and number of branches.
In relation to ad (b), a member of the public challenged:
2: the implication that colonic irrigation was proven to
"detoxify" the body and could improve the bacterial balance in the
3: the implication that colonic irrigation could relieve
symptoms of the listed conditions.
The CAP Code: 3.1;7.1;19.1;50.1
1. The Body Detox
Clinic (BDC) said the claim was true, because they only offered colonic irrigation
at their clinic whereas Floataria offered other
treatments such as facials, massage and flotation and so did not
"specialise" in colonic irrigation.
2. BDC explained that colonic
irrigation was not a medical treatment, but that cleansing the colon promoted
the self-healing mechanisms of the body. They explained that the
research of Dr Bernard Jenson had shown that a healthy clean colon was vital
for good health: they pointed out that one of his books, Tissue Cleansing
through Bowel Management, had shown that people suffering severe leg
ulcerations and psoriasis had had their health improved by following a
seven-day tissue cleansing programme. They said those studies had
promoted the naturopathic principle that healing began from within.
They said the Association of Colonic Hydrotherapists
provided information on their website that suggested the quality of
intestinal flora was improved when putrefied material was washed out of the
large intestine, because the material was removed along with the accompanying
harmful bacteria and therefore created a better environment for good gut
flora to reproduce quickly.
3. BDC said that the work of Dr
Bernard Jenson had shown that colonic hydrotherapy could promote
self-healing, particularly when combined with a review of diet and
lifestyle. They also provided the text of a New York Times article on
the work of Dr Michael Gershon, describing a second
brain located in the intestine and how it affected gastrointestinal problems
such as IBS. They explained that they followed a strict protocol
designed to identify various ailments and treatment paths and that they did
not discourage essential treatment. They further explained that they
had refused the treatment to people whom they felt
to be at risk for complications and that they employed only qualified
registered nurses. BDC pointed out that they believed they had supplied
enough evidence to justify the inclusion of non-serious ailments in their
Complaint upheld: The ASA noted BDC's argument that
they specialised only in colon hydrotherapy and
should not be compared to other companies who offered a range of treatments,
such as massage or facials, because they believed that showed they were not
specialists. However, we considered that BDC had not provided
substantiation either to show that they were significantly different from
other companies in the North-East that offered colonic hydrotherapy and
detoxification programmes within a range of services, or that they were the
largest of colon hydrotherapy providers who only offered that particular
service. We therefore concluded that the claim was ambiguous,
unsupported and could mislead. On this point, ad (a) breached CAP Code
clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 19.1 (Fair comparison).
2. Complaint upheld: We noted BDC's assertion that bacteria that was bad for the body
was removed with the putrefied material that was washed out of the gut,
allowing good bacteria to increase. We also noted BDC's
comments on the research of Dr Bernard Jenson using colonic hydrotherapy to
detoxify patients bodies to enable
self-healing. However, because BDC had provided only anecdotal evidence
for their claims, both direct and implied, and had not been able to support
those claims with robust clinical evidence to show that colonic irrigation
could detoxify the body and improve bacterial balance in the bowel apart from
anecdotal evidence, we concluded that BDC had not justified the
claims. On this point, ad (b) breached CAP Code clauses 3.1
(Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 50.1 (Health and beauty products and
3. Complaint upheld: We acknowledged
that BDC employed qualified nurses who had taken postgraduate qualifications
in colonic hydrotherapy. We understood that colonic hydrotherapy was
similar to an enema and, as such, would evacuate the bowel and relieve
constipation: we therefore accepted that colonic hydrotherapy could be used
to relieve occasional constipation. We noted the majority of the symptoms
listed, apart from M.E., were considered non-serious and not serious, but
considered that, because the substantiation supplied was anecdotal in nature,
it was not robust enough to support the implication that colonic irrigation
could relieve the symptoms of: diarrhoea; bloating; haemorrhoids; I.B.S.;
colitis; flatulence; bad breath; body odour; headaches; fatigue; M.E.;
eczema; psoriasis; dandruff; acne; joint pain; P.M.T; and water retention.
Because of that, we concluded that the ad breached the Code. On this point,
ad (b) breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness) and
50.1 (Health and beauty products and therapies).
We told BDC not to repeat the ads and advised them to seek
help from the CAP Copy Advice team for future advertising.
of posting : 31st August 2010