ASA Makes First Ruling Against Marketer Website Using Extended Cap Code

The Advertising Standards Authority has made its first ruling against a marketer's site since the CAP Code was extended in March this year - it has upheld a complaint against The Matherton Trust's website for head-lice medication, finding their claims that the product could repel lice cannot be substantiated.

The CAP Code has been the subject of much debate - since its extension, the ASA's watchdog authority now also covers non-paid marketing communication, including a marketer's own site and social media.

The Matherton Trust breached CAP Code rules 3.1 (misleading advertising), 3.7 (substantiation) and 12.1 (medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).

ASA's adjudication concluded, "Because we had not seen evidence in support of the claims, we concluded that the website was misleading."

The Matherton Trust website must now remove all claims that the product can repel head lice. If the company complies with ASA's request, no further action will be taken. If not, ASA's agreements with top search engines will ensure they are penalised within search results.

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