The Dore Achievement Centres / DDAT proudly display on their web site the logos for the BBC and that of the ITVshow “This Morning”. These are not DDAT’s only appearance on TV. They have appeared on Channel 4‘s Richard & Judy show and they have run their own TV adverts. However both the TV advert and the spot on the Richard & Judy show have raised complaints from viewers that were upheld by the ITC / OfCom.
On the 1st May 2003 they appeared on Channel 4‘s Richard & Judy show. A viewer complained about DDAT’s claim that it was “a long-awaited and remarkable breakthrough” and that DDAT had “pioneered” the theoretical basis of the treatment. The ITC upheld the complaint but makes clear in its report that “the ITC does not express, nor does it seek to express, any view whatsoever on DDAT as an organisation or the relative efficacy of its treatment for dyslexia, neither of which was the subject of this finding.” This is almost an exact repeat of the complaints and judgment that the ITV show “Tonight with Trevor McDonald” receive in 2002 when covering DDAT. (Incidentally, it was the spot on the Tonight show where I first found out about the DDAT treatment which led to the successful treatment of my dyslexia).
The TV adverts that ran earlier this year ran foul of the the UK’s notoriously complicated advertising rules. Specifically “Rules .. (Evidence) and .. (Assessment of medical claims) … Rule .. (Impressions of professional advice and support). Doctors and other medical professionals are not permitted to appear in advertisements giving the impression of professional advice or recommendations.”. The full report is to be found on page 5 of this OfCom Bullitin [PDF]. UPDATE: The link is broken. See the second item down in this report.
UPDATE: DDAT have had similar problems in the USA where the treatment was featured on CBS’s news magazine program “60 Minutes II” (October 22nd, 2003). This generated a pointed response from the International Dyslexia Association