This means that if your local friendly quack is telling people that they can cure gouty toes and windy bowels with the power of a magic knitting needle then you can write to the ASA who may ask them to stop if they cannot substantiate their claims.
I have a feeling that it is going to be a busy time for the ASA. Perhaps too busy.
Anyway, the Nightingale Collaboration is an organisation I am proud to have some association with has launched today to help people make sense of the various ways that misleading claims can be countered.
I shall let them speak for themselves,
Launch of the Nightingale Collaboration
We will be revealing our plans for the future over the next few months, but today we are announcing a project that everyone can take part in.
Today, the 1st March, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) changed its rules so that members of the public can make complaints about misleading marketing communications on websites.
Until now, the misleading, outrageous and sometimes dangerous claims made on many healthcare websites have been off-limits, but now you can do something about them by submitting your own complaint.
We think it will help the ASA if our supporters focus complaints on one area of healthcare each month, as this will mean they can focus their research and adjudication process. Hopefully, this will enable the ASA to deal with complaints more quickly and effectively.
Hence, at the start of each month we will be announcing a new area of healthcare where we would like you to look for misleading claims on the web, make an ASA complaint and help eradicate misleading claims.
Today, as part of our first project, we want all those concerned about the public being misled to submit complaints against homeopathy websites that make misleading claims, and who therefore offer ineffective treatments, put patients at risk and take considerable amounts of money in exchange for sugar pills.
Our step-by-step guide will make it easy for anyone to submit an ASA complaint. So why not make a difference today by making an ASA complaint against a homeopathy website thereby helping to protect the public?
Join in and bookmark their site. This should be a great resource.