Hearing aid guide scrapped by ad watchdog

LONDON - A national press ad featuring a guide to buying a hearing aid has been pulled by the Advertising Standards Authority following a reader's complaints over the authenticity of the ad.

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The ad stated: "Ex-hearing aid boss warns public not to pay over the odds for hearing aids", citing Mark Moss as the boss in question and a survey that claimed customers were being overcharged.

The complainant challenged whether the ad falsely implied that the Digital Hearing Aid Information Service  offered independent advice on hearing aids, as he believed it also marketed its own products and was associated with a hearing aid manufacturer.

The ASA noted that as DHAIS was part of a wider group of companies with links to hearing aid manufacturers and retailers, saying it offered "independent" advice was misleading.

It also considered the ad wrongly suggested that Mark Moss was able to provide a more independent view as he was still part of the company as non-executive chairman.

The watchdog also did not feel that a 2007 price list and recent ad were sufficient evidence that a recent survey of hearing aid users had been carried out.

It concluded the ad was misleading and must not appear again in its current form.