BMI Healthcare is set to appeal a decision by the Advertising Standards Agency that it used a “misleading” advert to promote its private healthcare provision services.
The healthcare provider's website claimed it was "the consultants' choice" - a statement the advertising watchdog branded as misleading for implying that consultants in the medical profession were more likely to recommend BMI Healthcare than other such providers (WSB Online, 3 October - www.wsandb.co.uk/2213744).
But a spokesman for BMI Healthcare said it did not agree with the ASA's verdict and was appealing the decision.
He said: "We have used the strapline "the consultants' choice" for five years and until now have received no formal complaints about its use. More than 6,500 consultants choose to practice at BMI Healthcare facilities, which is over 1,000 more than practice with any other independent sector provider, and this is what the strapline refers to.
"In their judgement the ASA stated that the strapline ‘...was likely to be interpreted as suggesting consultants in the medical profession were more likely to recommend BMI to patients than they were other such providers'. We believe that the ASA has misunderstood how people are referred to or choose private hospitals. The vast majority of patients choose their private healthcare provider primarily in consultation with their GP, not their consultant. Consultants choose where they practice and we are proud that such a large number choose to work with BMI Healthcare."
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