iPod offered as a competition prize

Complaint Brought

Smith & Nephew Healthcare Ltd complained that a competition prize of an iPod, offered by Mölnlycke Healthcare Ltd was inappropriate and hence Mölnlycke Healthcare Ltd was in breach of clause 3.5 ‘Promotions and Competitions’ of the Code.


Mölnlycke Healthcare Ltd argued that the iPod was loaded with the proceedings of an independent educational symposium and hence it constituted an acceptable prize within the scope of the Code of Practice. In response, Smith and Nephew Healthcare Ltd pointed out that the memory of a device such as an iPod could easily be erased and then it was available for purely personal use by the recipient, thus rendering it in breach of Clause 3.5 of the Code. After due consideration, Mölnlycke Healthcare Ltd accepted that this was a valid point and as a result agreed to withdraw the iPod as the competition prize



The SDMA is pleased to note that companies continue to use the Code of Practice and would commend both companies involved in this complaint for reaching an agreement without the need to invoke the full application of the Complaints Procedure.

The SDMA hopes that this will encourage companies and healthcare professionals to raise a complaint whenever they believe that a signatory is breach of the Code. We also hope that it will encourage non-member companies who wish to demonstrate their desire to act in an ethical manner when dealing with healthcare professionals to sign up to our Code of Practice.

This does however raise an important issue. It is the first occasion that the use of pre-recorded electronic devices have featured in a Code of Practice complaint. The members will carry out a review with respect of all similar devices, both pre-recorded and blank. If deemed necessary the Code will be revised to take account of them


Complaint adjudicated on 12 July 2006


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