Saturday, 27 February 2010

*Akaija - Bespoke jewellery for the electrosensitive person

The Akaija is a necklace that apparently keeps your "energy biofield strong, even during electro-magnetic attacks". Here it is, modelled by Wim Roskam's lovely girlfriend.

UPDATE, 20th May: ASA write to advise that the advertisers will withdraw the phrase "The Akaija keeps your energy (bio)field strong, even during electro-magnetic attacks, from which especially sensitive people are suffering"

If, like me, you find that the silver model isn't very attractive, you can impress your woo friends with a 14 carat gold version! I wonder which the ASA will prefer?

"I write to complain about an advert published in Nexus Magazine, Vol. 17, No. 2 (February-March 2010).

The advert, for Wim Roskam, is entitled "Akaija".

I have submitted a scan of the advert. I can provide an original copy of the advert by post, if required.

I believe the advert is in breach of two sections of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP) code.

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, page 71) carried an advert entitled "Akaija".

3. The advert promotes two pieces of jewellery worn as necklaces. One, made of silver, is advertised at €42. Another, made of "14ct gold", is advertised at €168.

4. The CAP Code, Section 3.1, 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."

5. I challenge whether Wim Roskam holds documentary evidence to prove any of the following claims:

(i) The Akaija necklace keeps your energy (bio)field strong, even during electro-magnetic attacks;

(ii) Some especially sensitive people are suffering from electro-magnetic attacks.

6. The CAP Code, Section 6.1, states "Marketers should not exploit the credulity, lack of knowledge or inexperience of consumers."

7. "Electromagnetic hypersensitivity" is a condition in which some people report adverse symptoms which they believe are caused by exposure to magnetic fields.

8. A recent meta-analysis of the thirty-one studies, published in Psychosomatic Medicine (2005), has found no evidence for an electromagnetic cause of the condition.

"Conclusions: The symptoms described by "electromagnetic hypersensitivity" sufferers can be severe and are sometimes disabling. However, it has proved difficult to show under blind conditions that exposure to EMF can trigger these symptoms. This suggests that "electromagnetic hypersensitivity" is unrelated to the presence of EMF, although more research into this phenomenon is required."

(Rubin, James; J Das Munshi J, Simon Wessely (March-April 2005). "Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: a systematic review of provocation studies". Psychosomatic Medicine 67 (2): 224–32.)

9. It is unlikely that a typical consumer is aware of this research. I challenge whether Wim Roskam is exploiting "the credulity, lack of knowledge or inexperience of consumers."

10. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser, 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.

11. I confirm that I am happy to be identified as the complainant."

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