The ASA has published a fairly straightforward batch of rulings this morning, including this one about the website of a clinical psychology practice.
A consultant clinical psychologist, Dr Awenat, had left the practice to set up her own practice. She had complained to her former colleagues that her old practice's website still held her out as being a member of the team, including by use of a photograph of her, her name and short professional profile. Having received no satisfaction, she complained to the ASA. The practice failed to respond to the ASA's correspondence (never a good idea), and an adverse ruling resulted (probably inevitable in the circumstances).
As of the date of this post, Dr Awenat's details appear to have been removed from the website.
The decision is a short and sweet reminder that the ASA can provide a quick and cheap remedy to some grievances in clear-cut cases which might otherwise require threats of legal action under the law of passing off or on other grounds.
In the Freeths IP & Media team we look at brand and reputation management issues from every angle, bringing together expertise across a range of disciplines, so that we can advise on the most appropriate course of action for your circumstances.
A website... offering mental health and wellbeing services featured an image of a consultant clinical psychologist who worked at the clinic. It also included their title and surname on the “THE TEAM” web page. Upon clicking on the image, consumers were directed to the psychologist’s profile, which included some background information regarding their career history and training. We understood that Dr Awenat was no longer associated with the Expert Minds clinic and had directly requested for her image and information to be removed from the website... . However, Expert Minds continued to show her image and career details on the “THE TEAM” page of their website. Therefore, because Dr Awenat no longer worked at the Expert Minds clinic, but her details were still appearing on the... website, we concluded that the ad was misleading.