The BBC is in a legal tangle with leading hair-loss company Advanced Hair Studios, the company endorsed by Liz Hurley’s cricketing boyfriend Shane Warne.
Advanced Hair Studios is demanding damages for libel and malicious falsehood from the BBC over two website stories in January 2006 and June 2011 about complaints investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority.
The company runs stores across major cities in the UK offering laser hair therapy, hair replacement and a hair transplant called Strand-by-Strand.
The first story claimed that the effectiveness of its Strand-by-Strand procedure was in doubt, and that some 300,000 customers had been affected by its ineffective procedures, according to a High Court writ.
The second story claimed that the effectiveness of both its laser treatment and Strand-by-Strand treatment were in doubt, and that this had affected around 300,000 customers, the court will hear.
The story had named former England cricketer Graham Gooch, although Advanced Hair Studios says he has never received laser treatment from the company.
The Advertising Standards Authority had never considered or ruled on the effectiveness of the procedures, the writ says.
Advanced Hair Studios accuses the BBC of publishing the words knowing they were false or reckless, not caring whether they were true or false.
The BBC also gave the impression it had obtained a comment form the company, by publishing an alleged response, but the company denies it gave a comment.
The BBC has refused to agree not to repeat the allegations, which were calculated to disparage the company and cause it financial loss, it is claimed.
Advanced Hair Studios Group, Advanced Hair Studios (International), and Advanced Hair Studios (Romford) say their business reputations have been seriously damaged, and that they have suffered distress and embarrassment.
The writ was issued by solicitor Adrian Dawson of Curry Popeck.