The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint against a psychotherapist who incorrectly claimed on her website that she was a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.
The Harley St Therapy website, seen on 30 March 2021, contained the wording: “My name is Emma Louise Taylor and I offer Relational Transactional Analysis (TA) Psychotherapy & Counselling in Billericay, Essex and London” and towards the bottom of the page: “I adhere to the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Code of Ethics and am a member of this organisation”.
But the BACP raised a complaint – claiming Taylor was not a member of their organisation and challenging whether the ad breached the ASA’s code.
For her part, Taylor said that she was not aware that her membership had lapsed and had contacted the BACP about renewing her membership.
In their assessment of the case, the ASA said that the site’s wording indicated Taylor was a member of the BACP.
According to the ASA, while Taylor claimed she had contacted the BACP about renewing her membership, the BACP claimed they had not received an application from Taylor about re-joining.
As the ASA understood that Taylor was not a member of the BACP, they concluded the ad breached their code and ruled the site must not include the wording in the form complained of by the BACP.
The ASA also told Taylor not to claim in future ads that she was a member of BACP or other bodies of which she was not a member.