The makers of ITV1's This Morning have slammed PR agency The SPA
Way for failing to disclose that a woman put forward as a case study had
worked for the agency just a week before the broadcast.
Gill Rayburn, who appeared on the live show on 21 November, claimed to
have been cured of a chronic sweating condition through a surgical
procedure called ETS, provided by SPA Way client the Scandinavian
The agency, led by founder Sara Pearson, had originally been approached
by the show's producers following a PR-driven feature on the procedure
in The Times.
According to Granada Television, The SPA Way was unable to provide the
same individual for a case study, but said it would find a
Granda's own investigations last Thursday revealed that Rayburn had
worked for The SPA Way, despite neither Rayburn nor the agency revealing
this information in a series of off-camera interviews.
A Granada spokesman said: 'It is disturbing that a PR firm that
journalists deal with in good faith should fail to make that disclosure,
and we have taken this up with The SPA Way.'
According to SPA Way partner Delia Hyde, Rayburn was introduced to the
agency as a potential case study by the Scandinavian Medical Centre.
Hyde claimed that Rayburn had undergone the procedure at the Centre, and
worked for them 'three or four times' in the past year. She described
the criticism as 'blown out of all proportion'.
The SPA Way trades on its guarantee of media coverage against fees
- Leader, p12.