ARCHIVE: Therapeutic Services Advertising Code

Please note the new Therapeutic and Health Advertising Code which applies to new material from 1 September 2016 and existing material from 1 December 2016


All advertisements for therapeutic services (herein called “therapeutic services”) shall adhere to the Principles and Guidelines set out in this Code. The Code is designed to ensure that advertising for such services will be conducted in a manner which is socially responsible and does not mislead or deceive the consumer. Other ASA Codes may also be relevant.

In interpreting the Code emphasis will be placed on the Principles and spirit and intention of the Code. An advertisement which does or does not adhere to the letter of a particular ethic or Guideline nevertheless may or may not be in breach of the Code, depending on its compliance with the Principles and respect of the spirit and intention of the Code.

In interpreting standards of advertising of various services there will be reference to the appropriate industry Code of Ethics as it relates to advertising.


Appropriate industry Code of Ethics“; includes any industry or professional code endorsed by the ASA.

Therapeutic services“; are therapeutic, medical or health services or services which claim a therapeutic purpose.

Principle 1 – Advertisements should comply with the laws of New Zealand and the appropriate industry Code of Ethics.

Principle 2 – Advertisements should observe a high standard of social responsibility particularly as consumers rely on therapeutic services for their health and well-being.

Principle 3 – Advertisements should not by implication, omission, ambiguity or exaggerated claim mislead or deceive or be likely to mislead or deceive consumers, abuse the trust of or exploit the lack of knowledge of consumers, exploit the superstitious or without justifiable reason play on fear.


  1. Therapeutic claims should be factual and able to be proved.
  2. Advertisements should not have depictions which unduly glamorise the service or portray unrealistic outcomes.

Principle 4 – Any scientific information in an advertisement should be presented in an accurate manner. Scientific terminology should be appropriate, clearly communicated and able to be readily understood by the audience to whom it is directed.

Principle 5 – Advertisements should not claim or imply endorsement by any government agency, professional body or independent agency unless there is prior consent, the endorsement is verifiable and the agency or the body is named.


  1. Testimonials, where not prohibited by law, should be valid, true, current, documented and exceptional cases should be represented as such, not as typical. The claims in testimonials should be verifiable.
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