CAP: Enforcing the rules for ads on prenatal testing

The ASA/CAP have released a post called: Enforcing the rules for ads on prenatal testing. I have enclosed the text of the link below, but please have a look at the ASA/CAP site as there are lots of things of interest to anyone with an interest in Ethical Marketing.

Today, we’ve published a new Enforcement Notice on Advertising Non-invasive Prenatal Testing (hereafter NIPT), which is a type of prenatal screening for genetic conditions which uses a maternal blood test to examine foetal DNA. It is offered on the NHS in some regions but also through private clinics. 

Ads for Non-invasive Prenatal Testing (hereafter NIPT) commonly cite “Detection Rates” of 95%+ for their accuracy in screening potential genetic conditions. Although we understand that detection rates are clinically useful in some contexts, the ASA has recently ruled that quoting detection rates alone in marketing material is likely to mislead consumers.

Advertising do’s and don’ts

  1. Ads for NIPT should not quote “Detection Rate” figures in ads, unless:

The figures are accompanied by (i.e. alongside):

  • A robust “Positive Predictive Value”* figure; AND
  • Clear explanations about what both figures mean.

2.    Ads for NIPT should not use the term “diagnostic” to describe NIPT.

* A “Positive Predictive Value” figure has been described as the proportion of patients given a “positive” result from NIPT who subsequently had the condition confirmed in the foetus.

What next?

The Compliance team will take targeted enforcement action from Monday 17 February 2020 to ensure a level-playing-field, which may include – where advertisers are unwilling to comply – referral to Trading Standards or a relevant professional regulatory body.

For advice about specific non-broadcast ads, please contact the CAP Copy Advice team.

Read the Enforcement Notice now.

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