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Advertising Standards Association complaint about live psychics
07-01-2012, 07:56 AM (This post was last modified: 07-01-2012 08:32 AM by dormammu.)
Post: #1
Advertising Standards Association complaint about live psychics
just seen that the ASA have upheld a complaint about a Live Psychic site. Seems they started with the tv show and are now moving onto websites





http://www.asa.org.uk/ASA-action/Adjudic...69638.aspx

ASA Adjudication on Psychics-Live
Psychics-Live
Office 6, Slington House
Rankine Road
Basingstoke
RG24 8PH
Date:4 January 2012
Media:Internet (on own site)
Sector:Leisure
Number of complaints:1
Complaint Ref:A11-169638
Ad
Claims on the Psychics-Live website, for an organisation offering psychic services, viewed in August 2011, stated "Phone Psychic readings & tarot readings with genuine clairvoyant psychics and much more. Welcome to Psychics Live here we have a wealth of experience to help and guide you. Whether that is from our range of psychic articles, psychic readings and psychic information, our psychic news or our wonderful Phone Psychic readers are all available via our dedicated Psychic Line, you are assured of getting all the help and support you need ... Or have a look at our Psychic Services page to see what else we can offer help with ... They are all experienced and have many years experience and are genuine clairvoyant psychics who offer phone psychic advice including specialists who offer accurate tarot readings. They can all help with guidance and answers to your most important life questions". Text within the header and footer of the home page stated "Disclaimer: ... All readings are soley [sic] for entertainment purposes only". The home page included statements from the psychic and tarot readers which referred to the accuracy of the readings offered. Further text on the "About Us" page stated "Psychics-Live has been in existence since 1998, this makes us one of the original psychic sites on the internet".

Issue
The complainant challenged whether the claims:

1. that the psychic and tarot readers were able to "help" and provide accurate readings were misleading and exaggerated the likely efficacy of the services offered;

2. "genuine clairvoyant psychics" was misleading and could be substantiated;

3. "Psychics-Live has been in existence since 1998" was misleading and could be substantiated; and

4. claims relating to accuracy and truthfulness in the psychic listings on the website were misleading.

CAP Code (Edition 12)
3.13.7
Response
1. Psychics-Live said most psychic sites stated that psychic and tarot readers were able to "help" and provide accurate readings. However, they said they would amend the ad in line with CAP Guidance.

2. Psychics-Live said they intended the word "genuine" to reflect that the psychics listed were honest and had good intentions. They said it was not possible to scientifically prove or disprove psychic ability. However, they said they would amend the ad in line with CAP Guidance.

3. Psychics-Live believed the ad made clear that the website had been in existence since 1998. They said the ad did not claim that they had been trading since 1998. They said that in 1998, the Psychics-Live site was an informational site. They referred the ASA to a screenshot of an archive website and said that demonstrated the website had been in existence since 3 December 1998.

4. Psychics-Live said the psychics listed on the site were not employed or managed by themselves. They said they provided a feed for the psychics listed and that they were not able to amend those comments.

Assessment
1. Upheld

Whilst the ASA acknowledged Psychics-Live's comments that they would amend the ad in line with CAP Guidance, we were concerned that the changes they had made were not sufficient to bring the ad in line with the Code.

Since we had not seen robust documentary evidence to substantiate the claims that the psychic clairvoyants were able to "help" individuals and provide accurate readings, we concluded that the claims were misleading and breached the Code.

On this point, the ad breached Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).

2. Upheld

Whilst we acknowledged Psychics-Live's comments that they would amend the ad to remove reference to the word "genuine", we were concerned that the changes they had made were not sufficient to bring the ad in line with the Code.

We noted the ad made reference to the fact that psychic clairvoyants were able to "help" individuals and provide accurate readings. In that context, we considered that consumers were likely to interpret the claim "genuine psychic clairvoyants" to mean that the psychic clairvoyants provided accurate readings and were able to "help" individuals. Since we had not seen robust documentary evidence to substantiate those claims, we concluded that the claims were misleading and breached the Code.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).

3. Upheld

We noted the ad made clear that Psychics-Live had been in existence since 1998 and that that made them one of the original psychic sites on the internet. In that context, we considered that consumers were likely to interpret the claim to mean that the Psychics-Live website had existed as a website offering psychic advice since 1998. We acknowledged that within the archive site, two screenshots of the Psychics-Live website were dated 1998. We noted the screenshot dated 3 December 1998 was headed "Welcome to Ag's Palazzo rosso di Pornography" and that the screenshot dated 12 December 1998 was headed "Shakeema's Glass Palace of Sex pictures". We also noted the content of those sites was of a sexual nature and did not appear to relate to psychic advice. We were therefore concerned that we had not seen adequate documentary evidence that the Psychics-Live website had existed as a website offering psychic advice since 1998. On that basis, we concluded that the ad was misleading.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).

4. Upheld

We acknowledged Psychics-Live's comments that they provided a feed for the psychics listed on their website. We requested their input to confirm whether the psychics listed on the website paid to appear within the listings. However, they did not respond on that point. We noted the claims appeared on the Psychics-Live website and considered that, in the absence of a further response to the contrary, the accuracy of the psychic listings was the responsibility of Psychics-Live. As such, we expected the claims which appeared on the site to be capable of substantiation.

Since we had not seen robust documentary evidence to substantiate the claims about the accuracy and truthfulness of readings, made in the psychic listings, we concluded that the claims were misleading and breached the Code.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).

Action
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Psychics-Live to ensure that they held robust substantiation to support all claims in future.
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