Chances are that if you are reading this blog, you will also have noticed that our Advertising Standard is up for review.
Do you know that it is likely our most breached Standard? And I’m sure that you did not know that as soon as the new Standard is finalized, we will begin to actively scan the internet and other advertising sources looking for those in breach and addressing the problem.
Why the fuss?
Many of you tell us that your colleagues advertising make the profession look, well, unprofessional.
Sometimes it’s misleading. Sometimes it makes downright false claims (like the one in the headline). Since patients use advertising as a source of information when they are choosing a physiotherapist, it’s got to be truthful. And since you want them to take you seriously as a legitimate health profession, it’s got to be professional.
But we need you to tell us what you expect in terms of truthfulness – we are particularly interested in what you think about advertisements that make comparisons between practitioners.
Is it right to say that the data suggests that you are in the top ten percentile of physiotherapists treating knee problems or is this data capable of manipulation?
If we have a requirement that any such claims be truthful and verifiable, do you think that you could provide evidence to verify those claims?
Or are we working too hard on this? Do patients need the sort of protection that we are trying to offer or have we moved into an era of ‘buyer beware’ that applies to health care just as much as the knives that we see for sale on the Shopping Channel?
We are on the threshold of pursuing those who breach our advertising Standard and holding them accountable to it. Now, more than ever, we really need your help to ensure that we capture the Standard appropriately.