Thursday, 11 March 2010
*Kindred Spirit Magazine - Mail-Order Woo
In common with many of the specialist "spiritual" magazines, Kindred Spirit devotes several pages to promote its online mail-order service.
UPDATE, 23 Jun: The ASA have adjudicated on my complaint, and upheld it in full.
UPDATE, 29 Apr: ASA report some of the ads have been passed to their compliance team; namely, the electromagnetic "harmonisers", the "Pyramid de Vie", the "Script Symbol Reiki Necklace", and the "Detox" foot patches (claims of expelling toxins and improving circulation only).
Of the forty-nine items on offer this month, I reckon at least nine of them breach the ASA's code of practice. (Scans of the relevant pages are available here, here, here and here.)
"I write to complain about an eight-page advertising feature in “Kindred Spirit” magazine (March/April 2010, pages 50-57), which promotes the magazine's online mail-order service, www.kindredspirit.co.uk
I refer here only to the contents of the advert, not to the website. I suspect that the advert makes multiple breaches of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP) code.
I confirm that I have no connections to the advertiser or the magazine, and am not involved in legal proceedings with either of them. I confirm that I am happy to be identified as the complainant.
I enclose scans of the relevant pages.
Under sections 3.1 and 50.1 of the code, I challenge whether www.kindredspirit.co.uk hold 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:
Item 1: Electromagnetic Harmonisers for computer or mobile phone
(1) The direct claim that the disc “naturally harmonises emissions from electronics [devices]"
(2) The implied claim that the disc has health benefits for users of electronic devices
Item 15: “Pyramid de Vie”
(4) The claim that the pendant “releases [i.e. reduces] pain, enhances body bio fields [sic]” and “keeps you rejuvenated”
(5) The claim that the pendant contains minerals which are “energy-giving”
Item 16: "Detox Foot Patches"
(6) The claim that by using the patches, "overnight toxins are expelled"
Item 17: "Warm Detox Foot Patches"
(7) The implied claim that the patches are beneficial for people with poor circulation
(8) The direct claim the patches "help soothe aches and pains"
Item 18: "Aqua-Vortex"
(9) The claim that the device can "re-energise water and drinks...by replicating effects found in nature"
Item 19: "Hopi Ear Candles"
(10) The direct claim that Hopi Ear Candles are in any way related to the Hopi (Navajo) tribe of Nevada, USA
(11) The claim that the candles are "helpful for earache and headache, ear noise, stress" and are beneficial for "nasal breathing" and the "sense of smell"
Item 20: "Vega Whole Food Meal Replacement"
(12) Since the manufacturer's website disagrees, the direct claim that a serving contains 24 calories
(13) The implied claim that a typical consumer, who requires 2000-3000 calories a day, can get a "complete meal" from one 24 (or, indeed, 240) calorie serving
(14) The direct claim that a 24 (or, indeed, 240) calorie serving is an "excellent choice for those on a calorie-reduced diet"
Item 21: "Trayner Pinhole Glasses"
(15) The claim that the glasses "improve your eyesight and [help you] learn to see better without glasses", and that "15 minutes will train your eyes and relieve eye strain"
Item 27: "Script Symbol Reiki Necklace"
(16) The claim that the necklace can "promote health and balance"