Friday, 29 January 2010
*Henry T Laurency - successor to Pythagoras
UPDATE: ASA: Complaint rejected: "...we think that readers are likely to be aware that the ad is directing readers to a website by proposing a philosophical point of view which, by definition, is not capable of objective substantiation"
The new issue of Nexus Magazine is out, and as usual it doesn't disappoint.
First up is Hylozoics, which is apparently an esoteric school founded by that celebrated pseudoscientist, errr... Pythagoras.
ASA complaint is en route...
"I write to complain about an advert that appeared in Nexus Magazine, entitled "Hylozoics - A Tenable World View, A Positive Life View, A Path To Follow".
I believe the advert is in breach of two sections of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP) Code.
For your convenience, I have made a scan of the advert available on a popular image sharing website. [here]
I can provide a copy of the scan by email, or send an original copy of the leaflet by post, if required.
1. Nexus Magazine is published in the UK "under licence by Nexus Magazine (UK) Ltd". It is available in high street shops like WH Smiths.
2. The February-March 2010 issue (Vol. 17, No. 2) carried an advert entitled "Hylozoics".
3. The advert promotes a website, www.laurency.com, which sells books.
4. No part of the advert attempts to paraphrase or references the contents of the related books (perhaps with some text like "...the book contains..." or "...read about how..."). Indeed, no book is mentioned in the advert.
5. The advert makes claims which are capable of objective substantion. I will proceed on the basis that the advert itself is in breach of the CAP code, without reference to the associated website or books.
6. Section 2.1 of the CAP code states “2.1 All marketing communications should be legal, decent, honest and truthful.”
7. Section 3.1 of the CAP code states “Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove all claims, whether direct or implied, that are capable of objective substantiation.”
8. I challenge whether the following claims are honest and truthful, and I challenge whether the advertiser holds documentary evidence to prove them:
(i) Hylozoics is a 2700-old school
(ii) Hylozoics was founded by Pythagoras
(iii) All esoteric schools possess the same knowledge
(iv) Reality has three aspects, namely matter, consciousness and motion
(v) Everything is alive
(vi) The meaning of life is development of consciousness
(vii) There are laws of life directing the evolution of consciousness
(viii) By learning to apply universal laws people are able to live in harmony and balance
9. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser, with Nexus Magazine, or with the publishing industry in general. I confirm that I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser or Nexus Magazine.
10. I confirm that I am happy to be identified as the complainant.