Sunday, 20 June 2010
*"Professor" Brian Peskin, cancer expert
A liar. A fraudster. A dangerous conman. A quack. A convicted criminal.
It's not often I can use those words against one of my complainees. So, let me introduce you to "Professor" Brian Peskin!
UPDATE, 27 Oct: The ASA Council has today upheld my complaint in full
The "Professor" is the author of a book, "The Hidden Story of Cancer", advertised in this month's Nexus Magazine by the irresponsible bookshop The Nutri Centre.
The book's tagline is "Find Out Why Cancer has Physicians on the Run and How a Simple Plan Based on New Science Can Prevent It".
Since I can't rip out his throat with my bare teeth, I'll settle for mentioning Peskin's 2003 conviction for multiple acts of fraud.
Oh, and he's not a "Professor", either, and he never has been. ASA complaint follows.
"I write to complain about an advert which appears in Nexus Magazine (June-July 2010, Vol 17, No 4, p10).
The advert, for "The Nutri Centre", promotes a book by "Professor" Brian Peskin, "The Hidden Story of Cancer".
I suspect that the advert may be in breach of four 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 advert features the book's front cover, with the text:
"Earth-Shattering and Historically Significant..."
"THE HIDDEN STORY OF CANCER"
"Find Out Why Cancer has Physicians on the Run and How a Simple Plan Based on New Science Can Prevent It"
2. In addition, the advert contains the text:
" 'This is one of the most important books you could ever read if you want to understand and prevent cancer...' - Reviewed in Nexus 2006"
"Professor Brian Peskin's books is available from The Nutri Centre Bookshop along with more than 150 books on alternative treatments for cancer."
3. Brian Peskin is not a "Professor" at any university.
4. In January 2003, the District Court of Harris County, Texas issued a permanent injunction ordering Peskin and his company to pay $100,000 to the State of Texas and to refrain from making certain claims . Among other things, the injunction ordered that Peskin must refrain from:
(i) "Advertising or labeling any food product or drug which makes any express or implied claims that such product will ...(4) reduce the risk of breast, prostate and other cancers..."
(ii) "Representing, expressly or by implication, in any advertising of any product, that Defendant Brian Scott Peskin is a 'scientist,' 'Professor,' or 'Doctor,' or that Brian Scott Peskin is the 'holder of the Emeritus Life-Systems Engineering Chair, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Texas Southern University' "
5. Under Section 7.1, I challenge whether the advert misleadingly claims that Brian Peskin is a Professor.
6. Under Section 3.3 and in relation to the book's claim to prevent cancer, I challenge whether the advert "exaggerate[s] the value, accuracy, scientific validity or practical usefulness of the product".
7. Under Section 6.1, I challenge whether the advert "exploit[s] the credulity, lack of knowledge or inexperience of consumers".
8. Under Section 2.2, I challenge whether the advert has been "prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society".
9. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser, the magazine or the alternative health and publishing industries. I confirm that I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser or the magazine.