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Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) 24 Mar 2021 18:43 #1

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My complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)* on 9 March :kiss:

'The attached screenshot and page from the Optical Express patient pack claim that 100% of Dr Muhammad Kazmi’s patients are satisfied with his care.
[Details www.opticalexpressruinedmylife.co.uk/ind...40-dr-muhammad-kazmi ]

This is untrue and fraudulent.

As patient advocate I have been contacted by 100s of patients dissatisfied with his care, many in litigation with both Dr Kazmi and Optical Express.

I am able to provide evidence of this when required.

I wish to be named as complainant…
'

Yesterday morning I received their response:

'Dear Ms Rodoy

Your Complaint: Optical Express Ltd

Thank you for contacting the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) with your complaint about Optical Express Ltd.

I understand you objected that ‘100% satisfaction’ claims made for the surgeon Dr Muhammad Kazmi on the Optical Express website were misleading, with many former patients engaged in litigation regarding the service they received from him.

We are unfortunately unable to assess your complaint at this time. As a non-statutory organisation, the ASA does not get involved in matters that are the subject of legal action; this is because it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to make decisions that might prejudice the outcome.

If you should still wish to pursue this matter with the ASA once legal action has concluded, please don’t hesitate to get back in touch.

Thank you for contacting us with your concerns.

Kind regards,

(Name redacted to protect identity)
Senior Complaints Executive

I then called Mr Senior Complaints Executive, and engaged in a highly frustrating conversation!


Following which, as advised, I sent this email:

'I am far from satisfied with your response, and must now also question the honesty of claims made by the ASA.

'The Advertising Codes reflects the law, which means that, where appropriate, they reflect the standards required in law, e.g. misleading advertising
.’
www.asa.org.uk/about-asa-and-cap/about-r...d-co-regulation.html

It appears from your response to my complaint that the ASA's concern is primarily for its relationship with stakeholders, not for the protection of the public, who are being lied to at the discretion of the ASA.

'Our stakeholder engagement programme is designed to help us develop better relationships with the key organisations we regulate
.’
www.asa.org.uk/about-asa-and-cap/the-wor...ing-with-others.html

Further to our conversation earlier today, I am writing to ask that you please escalate my complaint…

*'The ASA is funded by advertisers through an arrangement that guarantees our independence…
The levy, which is 0.1% on the cost of buying advertising space and 0.2% on some direct mail ensures the ASA is adequately funded to keep UK advertising standards high.
'
www.asa.org.uk/about-asa-and-cap/about-r...ion/our-funding.html