Thursday, 22 April 2010
*Ray Balmain - cancer cure specialist
Ray Balmain is one of those odious little men who claims to "beat" cancer with his magical fingers.
UPDATE, 26 Apr: Consumer Direct report that complaint has been passed to Trading Standards
UPDATE, 27 Apr: ASA report that complaint has been passed to its compliance team
Ray first came to my attention via this advert in Kindred Spirit magazine, in which he boldly claims we'll all be "amazed by his abilities".
Wanting to know more, I rushed over to his website and found material which is almost certainly an offence under the Cancer Act 1939.
Here is my letter to Trading Standards...
"I write to complain about the website www.rjbhealing.com which advertises the services of a Ray Balmain of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Mr Balmain, who describes himself as a "spiritual healer", charges between £10-£20 for his services.
I submit that the contents of his website are in breach of the Cancer Act 1939.
1. In the Section marked ' Media', Mr Balmain displays a newspaper article with the headline "Hands-on therapy beat my cancer".
I submit that this is a contravention of the Cancer Act 1939.
2. In the same section, Mr Balmain displays another newspaper (or magazine) article with the headline "Hands-on Therapy Beat Cancer".
I submit that this is a further contravention of the Cancer Act 1939.
3. In the Section marked ' More Media', Mr Balmain displays a magazine front-cover with the headline "Healing hands over my cancer-riddled body".
I submit that this is a third contravention of the Cancer Act 1939.
I confirm that I have no connections to Mr Balmain, or to the alternative medicine industry in general."
...and another one to the ASA.
"I write to complain about an advert in "Kindred Spirit" magazine (May/June 2010, Issue 104, p75).
The advert promotes Ray Balmain, an "amazing healer".
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) Ray Balmain has the "ability...to heal the sick"
(ii) Ray Balmain's abilities are "amazing"
(iii) Ray Balmain is able to perform "absent Healing"
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."