ASA resolves row over 'misleading' air medics service ads

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A row between two helicopter medical services in the East over misleading publicity has been resolved by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Cambridgeshire-based Magpas, who fly medical teams to accidents, implied in advertisements and publicity their service was available day and night.

East Anglian Ambulance Service challenged this and said flying was restricted.

After an ASA investigation Magpas was told not to repeat the claims.

ASA said two banner advertisements making the day-and-night flying claim at an Ipswich supermarket and repeated on the Magpas website earlier this year were misleading.

Magpas Helimedix were only able to respond to emergencies when volunteer crews were available.

Flying by the helicopters was banned between 01:00 and O7:00 GMT under Civil Aviation Authority rules.

For 15 years up to April this year Magpas used a police helicopter at night, when it was available, to get medical staff to emergencies during these times.

The ASA still upheld that the ads were "misleading" and implied a continuous service and so they have not been used since.

The two organisations had shared some aircraft but agreements ended earlier this year and were not renewed.

The joint air ambulance and medical services provide cover across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk.

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