Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Magic Wand Company - Wand away the pain in minutes!
This charming couple are Nina and Jerry, distributors of the Magic Wand, an amazing pain-relief device that relies on the "Zero Point Energy Field" and "Nano Technology" [sic].
Their advertisement mentions that the Magic Wand can be used on animals.
Unfortunately, because of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, it's illegal for anyone except vets (and a few related groups) to "treat" animals for any reason at all.
Conveniently, Nina and Jerry have forgotten to mention this fact - let's hope that no-one buys their device hoping to use it on their beloved pet's aching paws.
Here is my complaint to the ASA.
"I write to complain about a flyer I picked up at the "Mind, Body & Spirit" festival, in London, in May this year.
The flyer promotes the "Magic Wand", a pain-relief device.
I suspect that the flyer may be in breach of seven sections of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP) code. I can provide the original flyer by post, if necessary.
1. The "Magic Wand" is a pen-sized device, which the flyer claims relies on the "Zero Point Energy Field" and "Nano Technology", despite the claim that it "Doesn't Need Power".
2. Physicists use the term "Zero Point Energy" to describe the theoretical lowest energy state of a quantum mechanical system, and "Zero Point Energy Field" to describe the field associated with it .
3. After searches on PubMed and elsewhere, I have not been able to find any clinical trials relating to this device.
4. Under Sections 3.1 and 50.1 of the CAP Code, I challenge whether the advertiser holds documentary evidence to prove the following claims, and I challenge whether the claims are backed by evidence, where appropriate consisting of trials conducted on people:
(i) The Magic Wand causes "[pain] Relief in Minutes"
(ii) With the Magic Wand, you can "Wand Away Your Pain in Minutes"
(iii) The Magic Wand "Energizes [sic] Food" and "Energizes Water"
(iv) With the Magic Wand, "Wine Tastes Smoother" and "Lemons Taste Sweeter"
5. (i) According to The Royal College of Veterinary Science:
"The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (Section 19) provides, subject to a number of exceptions, that only registered members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons may practise veterinary surgery. 'Veterinary surgery' is defined within the Act as encompassing the 'art and science of veterinary surgery and medicine' which includes the diagnosis of diseases and injuries in animals, tests performed on animals for diagnostic purposes, advice based upon a diagnosis and surgical operations which may not necessarily form part of a treatment. These restrictions are in the interests of ensuring that animals are treated only by people qualified to do so." 
(ii) The flyer claims that the Magic Wand can be "Use[d] on Animals".
(iii) Therefore, under Section 2.1 of the CAP Code, I challenge whether the flyer is "legal, decent, honest and truthful".
(iv) Under Section 2.2, I challenge whether the flyer has been "prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society".
(v) Under Section 4.1, I challenge whether the flyer is legal, and whether it may incite consumers to break the law.
(vi) Under Section 6.1, I challenge whether the flyer exploits the "credulity, lack of knowledge or inexperience of consumers" by not mentioning that, under the Act, only registered veterinarians can treat animals.
(vii) Under Section 7.1, I challenge whether the flyer is likely to mislead by omission of any mention of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966.
6. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser or with the alternative medicine industry in general. I confirm that I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser.
 Matt Visser, "What is the 'zero-point energy' (or 'vacuum energy') in quantum physics?", Scientific American Magazine, August 18, 1997 (http://homepages.mcs.vuw.ac.nz/~visser/general.shtml#what-zpe)