This news release from the BDA brings to mind one of the earliest and most useful bits of advice my father gave to me, “When you’re in a hole, stop digging!” Will the GDC learn or will it carry on p..ing money up against a wall until it’s all gone? I likened Bill Moyes to his namesake David three months ago but I feel he’s more like Dickie Bird officiating at ice hockey. No confidence? Career building? A lack of understanding of dentistry? As a famous fictional PM said, “I couldn’t possibly comment”.
That will be the same ASA that has shown such an understanding of dentistry in the past with this paradoxical ruling.
21 August 2014
This is not a spoof: GDC teams up with ASA on ‘irresponsible’ ads
The British Dental Association (BDA) has responded to news that the General Dental Council (GDC) is to team up with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to combat ‘irresponsible’ advertising.
The dental regulator recently spent £27,715 on an advertising campaign encouraging complaints from private dental patients, including a full page colour advert in the Telegraph that has drawn criticism from across the profession.
The Chair of the BDA’s Principal Executive Committee, Mick Armstrong, said:
“How fitting that in the week Facebook announces a ‘satire’ tag word reaches us the GDC is to team up with the ASA on ‘irresponsible’ advertising.
“A quick glimpse at the GDC website has assured us we are not looking at a spoof, but the latest vanity project from a regulator in crisis.
“The dental regulator has just spent thousands on a campaign that is clearly at odds with its own policy on advertising. It’s time the GDC practised what it preaches.”
The GDC’s guidance states that adverts help patients make informed choices about their dental care and ‘advertising that is false, misleading or has the potential to mislead, is unprofessional, may lead to a fitness to practise investigation and can be a criminal offence.’ The guidance also advises dental registrants to provide ‘balanced, factual information which enables them (patients) to make an informed choice about their treatment’.
The regulator’s Telegraph advert failed to mention that patients could discuss matters with their dental practice directly, before enlisting the support of the GDC’s Dental Complaints Service (DCS). Instead of referring to local resolution as a first step to addressing concerns, the GDC advert encouraged patients who are ‘not completely happy’ with their private dental care to contact the DCS.