(1) The primary responsibility for truthful and non-deceptive advertising rests with the advertiser and reflexology practitioner;
(2) This policy statement has been drafted to provide members with specific information as to the parameters of what may or what may not be included in advertisements in order for them to comply with membership requirements as established by the Reflexology Registration Council of Ontario (RRCO);
(3) These guidelines are designed to help set and maintain standards of honesty, truth, accuracy, fairness and propriety in advertising by reflexology practitioners;
(4) No advertising shall be prepared or knowingly exhibited which contravenes this policy;
(5) The focus is on the message as received or perceived, that is, the general impression conveyed by the advertisement.
“Advertising” is defined as any message (the content of which is controlled directly or indirectly by the advertiser) expressed in any language and communicated in any medium (including seminars, or representation of the reflexology profession in any public manner).
“Advertiser” is defined as a member of the RRCO involved in the act of advertising the practice of reflexology.
It is highly recommended that members of the RRCO in good standing will identify themselves as such.
An advertisement with respect to a member’s practice may contain:
- General contact information – i.e. location of practice, accessibility, hours of operation, address and telephone number;
- Identification of the educational qualifications of the staff;
- Information of the types of services available in the practice;
- Usage of the RRCO logo provided member is in good standing.
- Posting of a license number where required by law.
An advertisement with respect to a member’s practice must not contain:
- Claims of reflexology as a treatment, prevention or cure for any disease, disorder or abnormal physical or physiological states;
- Anything that is false or misleading, deceptive, fraudulent, falsely disparaging of other reflexology practitioners or schools or organizations of reflexology;
- Anything that, because of its nature, cannot be verified;
- An endorsement other than an endorsement by an organization that is known to have expertise relevant to the subject-matter of the endorsement;
- Any sexual innuendo or language of a sexual nature in any form or shape;
- Claims that imply they have a scientific basis which they do not possess or distort the true meaning of statements made by professionals or scientific authorities;
- Any statements that condone any form of personal discrimination, including that based upon race, national origin, religion, sex or age;
- Any wording that would imply that staffs of the facility are members of the RRCO when they are not;
- Reference to a member or to a member’s RRCO registration number in a way that implies that the member practices actively in a location if, in fact, this is not the case;
- Reference to RRCO as if implying official designation:
A) Incorrect example: John Doe, RRCO
B) Correct example: John Doe, member of RRCO.
An advertisement with respect to a member’s practice may contain a reference to an area of practice or to a procedure or treatment if:
(a) in the case of a reference to an area of practice that is a prescribed specialty, the member holds a specialty certificate of registration in the specialty and the advertisement states that the member is a specialist in the specialty; and;
(b) in the case of a reference to an area of practice that is not a prescribed specialty or to a treatment or procedure, the advertisement states that the member is not a specialist and that said practice is not related to, or endorsed by the RRCO.
An advertisement must be readily comprehensible to the persons to whom it is directed.
How Complaints Are Handled
All written complaints from the public are acknowledged and referred to the Disputes and Resolution Committee of the RRCO. In the event of a complaint, the Disputes and Resolution Committee will recommend to Council whether the advertisement violates the advertising guidelines as set out in this policy. If a violation has occurred, the advertiser is asked to amend the advertisement in question or withdraw it. Once the advertiser has taken one of these steps, the complaint is closed and the complainant is informed in writing.
If it has been found that the complaint does not violate the advertising policy, the RRCO Council will explain to the complainant why the advertisement does not contravene the policy.
If an advertiser or complainant disagrees with a ruling, an appeal can be requested. The matter is then referred to the RRCO Council for review. If the RRCO Council determines that the complaint is justified, the advertiser is notified and requested to amend or withdraw the advertisement.
Whether the complaint is justified or not, both the complainant and the advertiser will be notified of the outcome of the appeal.
Occasionally, an advertiser will be reluctant to take corrective action. When this happens, the RRCO reserves the right to revoke the advertiser’s membership of the RRCO and inform the publishing company of revocation of the RRCO membership of the advertiser.
Updated: January 4, 2012