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Home   Canterbury   News   Article

Blean health clinic BodyWell Group run by former Canterbury city councillor Christian Farthing criticised by Advertising Standards Authority

02 March 2014
by Gerry Warren

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled Christian Farthing was misleading visitors to his Blean-based BodyWell Group by using the title on his website.

The regulator also upheld two further complaints against the clinic, which has courted controversy since it was opened by Mr Farthing in 2003.

Christian Farthing has no general medical qualification

Christian Farthing has no general medical qualification

The investigation was sparked following concerns raised about the wording of an advert on the clinic's website.

In it, Mr Farthing - who describes himself as a back pain specialist - is constantly referred to as Dr Christian.

But the ASA says the title should not be used in adverts unless the practitioner holds a general medical qualification or it is made clear it is a courtesy title from a recognised appropriate body.

Mr Farthing stated in the advert he "elected not to study medicine and become a medical doctor", but the ASA considered it was not sufficiently prominent.

An investigation was launched into the BodyWell Group clinic's website

An investigation was launched into the BodyWell Group clinic's website

The ASA also ruled visitors to the site would be misled into believing chiropractic could treat an "A-Z of Conditions" listed on the site, despite the clinic admitting this was not the case.

It also upheld a complaint against the use of the term "in accordance with the ASA and CAP Code, the BodyWell Group do not claim to treat any of the conditions below", saying it implied the ASA had formally considered the website's claims, which it had not.

Making the adjudications, the ASA ruled the claims must be removed or changed.

Mr Farthing qualified as a Bachelor of Chiropractic Science from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia.

Entrance to the BodyWell Group clinic in Blean

Entrance to the BodyWell Group clinic in Blean

But he was suspended by the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) in 2003 because he had exerted "undue influence" on patients by "exaggerating the consequences of failing to have regular chiropractic care" in an attempt to "reinforce the need to attend a lengthy course of treatment".

The regulator also found he had X-rayed patients without clinical justification.

He was then struck off the GCC register in 2009 for describing himself as a chiropractor in a phone book ad while suspended.

He was previously rapped by the ASA for earlier misleading claims about his clinic.

Mr Farthing was unavailable for comment.

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