Thursday, 22 April 2010

*Michael Cohen, the 'International expert'

Michael Cohen - founder of the "Raphayad Bioenergy Healing Clinic" - says he "specialises in treating DIFFICULT and DEBILITATING CONDITIONS" - either at his London clinic, or at great distances!

UPDATE, 27 Apr: ASA report "Our compliance team has agreed to take up the case and they will contact the advertiser directly...Please note that they will not be looking into your concerns about the 'difficult and debilitating symptoms' they claim to treat. The ad does not make mention of a specific illness and also does not claim to treat illnesses themselves, merely the symptoms of them, which is not in breach of the CAP Code."

I'll give Michael the chance to prove it, before I make fun of him.

ASA complaint follows.

"I write to complain about an advert in "Kindred Spirit" magazine (May/June 2010, Issue 104, p75).

The advert, for the Raphayad Bioenergy Healing Clinic, promotes on-site and distance treatment of "difficult and debilitating symptoms".

I suspect that the advert may be in breach of two sections of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP) code. I can provide an original copy of the advert by post, if required.

1. 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."

2. 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..."

3. Under Sections 3.1 and 50.1, 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 clinical trials conducted on people:

(i) Joanne Cohen and Michael Cohen can "[treat] DIFFICULT and DEBILITATING symptoms" using their "technique"
(ii) The technique can "access the bioelectromagnetic field to rewire the brain and physical body"
(iii) The technique can be used in "Distance...Treatment"

4. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser, the magazine or with the alternative medicine industry in general. I confirm that I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser or the magazine."