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The complaint concerned an internet advertisement published at the website
The advertisement promoted a collection of products called “Childhood Immunisation HPMedicines”. It stated that “the childhood diseases that mainstream medicine targets include pertussin(whooping cough), pneumococcal, lathyrus (polio), haemophilis, meningococcal, tetanus,morbillinum (measles), hepatitis B, rubella (optional as normally for girls only), and influenza” andthat “the diseases diphtheria, mumps, or chicken pox are no longer targeted in Australia, althoughthey are in other parts of the world [and] these can be purchased separately”. It directed readers to“further information on homeoprophylaxis (HP)”. It made reference to childhood vaccination andstated that “another option is to treat your child with homeopathic immunisation, also calledhomeoprophylaxis, HP.” It stated that “the remedies are taken orally, have no side effects, and arecompletely safe to use”.3.
The advertisement can be viewed in the relevant Appendix to this determination.
The advertisement promoted Childhood Immunisation HP Medicines for pertussis, pneumococcaldisease, polio, haemophilis, meningococcal disease, tetanus, measles, hepatitis B, rubella, influenza,diphtheria, mumps, and chicken pox.
The advertiser was Two Legs and Four.
The complainant requested anonymity.7.
The complainant stated that the advertisement represented the advertised products to be “a suitablealternative to the standard medical vaccination schedule”, and alleged that “there is no clinicalevidence in support of homeopathic vaccination”. The complainant alleged that the advertisementtherefore breached sections 4(2)(a), 4(2)(b), 4(2)(c), 4(2)(d), 4(2)(e), 4(2)(i), and 6(3) of the Code.
Additional matters raised by the Panel
Under sub-regulation 42ZCAH(1), the Panel is empowered to raise matters other than those specifiedin the complaint, where the Panel is satisfied that the advertisement to which the complaint relatescontains matter that is not mentioned in the complaint, which may contravene the Act, Regulations, orthe Code in other ways. The Panel was so satisfied and raised the following additional matters:a)
possible breaches of section 4(1)(b) of the Code, because of the claims of product benefits in theadvertisements;b)
possible breaches of section 4(2)(b) of the Code because the advertisement could be likely to leadto consumers self-diagnosing or inappropriately treating potentially serious diseases;c)
possible breaches of section 5(2) of the Code because of references to “pertussin”, whoopingcough, pneumococcal, “lathyrus”, polio, “haemophilis”, meningococcal, tetanus, “morbillinum”,measles, hepatitis, rubella, influenza, diphtheria, mumps and chicken pox;