Monday, February 16, 2009

Change google policy: Leys

Leys sent me an email on his fight with google to have their policy changed:

Tom, you might have seen my post on STUTT-L, which was an update on progress so far.  Here is a further update. The background to this campaign can be seen at

You may remember that, despite our objections, Google decided to carry on accepting ads which claim to cure or eliminate stammering/stuttering.  They defended their position by claiming that (i) none of the ads they carry not violates any applicable law, regulation or code of practice; and that, in their view, (ii) stammering/stuttering is not a sufficiently serious condition to warrant checks to be made (under their ‘Miracle Cure’ policy) on the veracity of advertisers’ claims.

But many of the stammering/stuttering ads they carry clearly violate the UK Code of Advertising Practice, which is why our Advertising Standards Authority are taking successful action against a number of advertisers; and stuttering is a serious and often life-changing condition - more serious, many might think, than psoriasis, which is one of the conditions included in Google’s Miracle Cure policy.

So I’m delighted to say that very recently, the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists, the professional body in the UK, and John Bercow, the Member of Parliament who led our Government's recent review of speech and language services for children, have both written to Google asking them to change this policy.

In the States, Jane Fraser and the Board of the SFA have already agreed '100%' with the principle that there is no cure for stammering/stuttering and they are now thinking about the text of a possible letter to Google.  Arlene Pietranton at ASHA, who had not heard about this issue before, has promised to get back to us, after discussions with her colleagues, to indicate if they will take action.

We have also written to the European League of Stuttering Associations and the International Stuttering Association to ask for their support.

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