Contraceptive App Told to Stop Blagging it

By Gary Cutlack on at

It's one thing when an advert misleadingly suggests that processed rice makes the cornerstone of a healthy breakfast for a child, but when an ad for an app tells users it can stop them from having babies by looking at their phone before sex, well, that's a bit more important.

Hence the Advertising Standards Authority was called in to examine the claims made by birth control app -- yes, app -- Natural Cycles, which sold itself on the basis that it could do a reasonably good job of guesstimating a woman's fertility cycles and would therefore give a strong indication of the days when contraception could be skipped and you could, you know, do that. Instead of that. Don't make me type it out.

Only the ASA found such claims as "clinically tested" and "highly accurate" that the developer used to describe the app's powers were rather misleading, as when it comes to something as potentially life-altering as getting knocked up and having a baby that will impact on a person's Netflix viewing time, a success rate of 91.7 per cent over 13 cycles was not high enough. They found that "considerably more user input" was needed when compared with other birth control options too, and as one of these is the woman taking a temperature reading with a thermometer, use of the app is likely to be less than perfect. Hence a general STOP call has been issued, with Natural Cycles warned not to go telling people its app is better at disrupting the baby-making process than an old fashioned analogue condom. [ASA]