Confidentiality and bad science

Posted 25 May 2012

“When evaluating survey data the devil is always in the detail. In a recent case the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) allowed Solal Technologies to keep crucial survey details secret. This decision deprived the complainant, Marcus Low, from an opportunity to interrogate spurious survey findings.”

An article by Marcus Low and published on Quackdown.

Continue reading the article on Quackdown: http://www.quackdown.info/article/confidentiality-and-bad-science/ 

One Response to Confidentiality and bad science

  1. Roy 26 May, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    Harris,

    What’s interesting about this situation is that the complaint was against Solal’s slogan: “Prescribed by doctors, recommended by pharmacists”. If they had said “Prescribed by SOME doctors, recommended by SOME pharmacists” there’d be no problem really (and this is probably what the confidential survey shows). But we can’t be sure as we are not able to see the details.

    The “reasonable person” test could well show that most people would interpret the slogan as meaning “Prescribed by MANY doctors, recommended by MANY pharmacists.”

    I did a small confidential survey amongst South African doctors and pharmacists nationally and not one of the doctors would prescribe Solal products, and not one of the pharmacists would recommend them!

    I’m sorry I cannot give you any further details because they are confidential.

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