Sunday, 20 June 2010
Leo Angart - throw away your glasses!
Leo Angart is a Danish charlatan - sorry, I meant to say, "entrepeneur" - whose latest book, "Improve Your Eyesight Naturally", promises you'll be able to "THROW AWAY YOUR GLASSES!"
The advert claims Angart's methods will help sufferers of "short sightedness, long sightedness, astigmatism, lazy eye, strabismus and more" will "[get] results quickly".
In my opinion, the advert's claims are grossly exaggerated, since this kind of "vision training" has been repeatedly debunked over the years.
(Angart's methods seem to be similar to yet another century-old quack therapy, The Bates Method.)
ASA complaint follows, and I hope they throw away the key, etc.
"I write to complain about an advert which appeared in the "Alternatives" brochure (Spring/Summer 2010 Programme, p20).
The advert, for Leo Angart, promotes his book, "Improve Your Eyesight Naturally".
I suspect that the advert may be in breach of one section of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP) code. I can provide an original copy of the brochure by post, if required.
1. The "Alternatives" brochure is produced by Alternatives Ltd (www.alternatives.org.uk), and promotes a series of talks and workshops held at St James's Church, Piccadilly, London. In addition to events listings, it carries a number of adverts.
2. The advert in question makes the following claims:
(i) Leo Angart is a "world renowned [sic] vision re-trainer" who can explain "how to achieve clear vision naturally"
(ii) The book details "simple exercises you can do at home or at work [to] get results quickly"
(iii) The book's "simple exercises" are suitable "for short sightedness, long sightedness, astigmatism, lazy eye, strabismus and more"
(iv) The "simple exercises" are so effective, that consumers will be able to "throw away their glasses".
3. While researching this complaint, I examined a number of websites which advertise Leo Angart's products. I was not able to find citations of relevant clinical studies on any of them. A search on PubMed also failed to provide any relevant citations.
4. A 2008 report by the College of Optometrists, "A critical evaluation of the evidence supporting the practice of behavioural vision therapy" , may be useful in this context. It concluded:
"There is a continued paucity of controlled trials in the literature to support behavioural optometry approaches [including vision therapies]. Although there are areas where the available evidence is consistent with claims made by behavioural optometrists...a large majority of behavioural management approaches are not evidence-based, and thus cannot be advocated."
5. Under Section 3.3 of the CAP Code, I challenge whether the claims for the content of the advertised book "exaggerate the value, accuracy, scientific validity or practical usefulness of the product".
6. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser or the brochure. I confirm that I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser or the brochure.
 Barrett BT. A critical evaluation of the evidence supporting the practice of behavioural vision therapy. Ophthalmic & Physiologic Optics 29: 4–25, 2009. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19154276