Last June remarkable summary proceedings were conducted in Amsterdam on the authority of the Advertising Code Committee (Committee) to judge advertising. A chiropractor had posted an advertisement for his practice in the newspaper Het Parool. From the ad:
"The good news is that chiropractic treatments have proven
effective to relieve pressure on the nerves. By using light
techniques, I am able to lift the pressure on the nerve. This
allows the nerve to repair and the symptoms to disappear. Some
conclusions from research:
85.5% patients reported improvement in nerve symptoms after only 9 chiropractic treatments - Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2008. "
A doctor involved in the Association against Quackery filed a complaint with the Committee. Chiropractic treatment would be a medically futile treatment that can cause damage. In short, the advertiser would be a quack. Apparently that allegation really angered the chiropractor. He even started summary proceedings against the Advertising Code Authority. In the proceedings he sought an injunction against the Committee to render its decision about the ad (and chiropractic treatment in general). According to the offended chiropractor he could not be obliged to submit himself to the complaints procedure and the decision of the Committee
In his judgment of 13 June 2012, the judge holds that a decision of the Committee on a complaint is an opinion on the extent to which an advertisement is consistent with the Dutch Advertising Code. The chiropractor may indeed not be required to participate in the procedure before the Committee and he is also not bound to follow the recommendations of the Committee. So no real contentious jurisdiction. But the chiropractor can not prohibit the Committee to form an opinion and to publish that opinion. The decision of the Committee falls under its freedom of expression. The court rejects all claims.
The Committee had apparently awaited the judgment of the court. On 20 June 2012, the president of the Committee allowed the complaint.
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