Monday, 29 March 2010
*Balance Crystals - we charge them, then we charge you!
Compiling this blog is terribly tiresome, you know.
UPDATE, 16 Apr: About the three products in the "advertorial", the ASA report "We have now passed these issues to our Compliance team, as the claims being made appear to be in clear breach of previous adjudications published by the ASA".
So it's quite a relief when magazines like Soul and Spirit put lots of bullshit adverts together in a single "advertorial". No problems with four of the products, but the ASA ought to know about the remaining three.
(The pages referenced in the complaint are available here, here and here.)
"I write to complain about three adverts in a feature marked as an "advertorial" in "Soul & Spirit" magazine (April 2010, page 70-71).
I suspect that the advertorial is in breach of three sections of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP) code.
I have submitted scans of the adverts. I can provide an original copy of the adverts by post, if required.
"STRENGTHEN YOUR AURA" (pyramiddevie.com)
1. The CAP Code, Section 7.1, states "No marketing communication should mislead, or be likely to mislead, by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise."
2. Further to my complaint of 11th March, also concerning the "Pyramid de Vie", I challenge whether the before and after "aura photos" featured in the "Soul & Spirit" advert are likely to mislead consumers into believing that the Pyramid de Vie has scientifically-detectable physical effects on the body.
3. A separate advert for the "Pyramid de Vie" appears on page 96 of "Soul & Spirit" magazine.
4. Under Section 14.1, I challenge whether the advertiser holds signed and dated proof, including a contact address, for the testimonials used on page 96.
"CRYSTAL HEALING" (balancecrystals.com)
5. 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."
6. The CAP Code, Section 50.1, states "Medical and scientific claims made about beauty and health-related products should be backed by evidence, where appropriate consisting of trials conducted on people..."
7. I challenge whether the advertiser holds documentary evidence to prove any of the following claims, and I challenge whether the claims are backed by evidence, where appropriate consisting of trials conducted on people:
(i) "Using a Crystal Kit" can "alleviate [the] symptoms" of tiredness, depression or suffering from pain and illness
(ii) The Crystal Kit gives the best chance of recovery from disease
(iii) The Crystal Kit may help with "back pain, low confidence, depression, detox, fertility, energy, hayfever, headache, IBS, meditation, psychic development, relaxation, relationships, stress and many more"
(iv) The Crystal Kit has been charged ready for use
(v) The Company are capable of custom-making a Crystal Kit for particular [medical] problems
"DON'T GO SKULKING AROUND" (unknown company)
8. I challenge whether the advertiser holds documentary evidence to prove the following claim, and I challenge whether the claim is backed by evidence, where appropriate consisting of trials conducted on people:
(i) Crystal Skulls can intensify your clairvoyant and clairaudient abilities
9. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser, with the magazine, or with the publishing and alternative medicine industries in general. I confirm that I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser or the magazine.
10. I confirm that I am happy to be identified as the complainant."