Thursday, 17 June 2010
Randy Charach, weight loss hypnotist
Hypnosis CDs are all the rage, and on both sides of the pond.
This one was recorded by Randy Charach, and the advert make the implausible claim that weight loss can be achieved "Without Exercise!"
Can the advertisers substantiate this claim? My money is on "no", but let's wait and see. ASA complaint follows.
"I write to complain about an advert which appeared in "Healthy Magazine" (May/June 2010, Issue 78, p152), usually sold in branches of Holland and Barrett.
The advert, for Helpyourhealth.co.uk / Randy Charach, promotes a hypnosis weight-loss system provided on CD. (The advert has a yellow background, and is entitled "Ladies LOOK and feel GREAT this SUMMER".)
I suspect that the advert may be in breach of three sections of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP) code.
1. A number of studies, of variable quality, are available on the subject of hypnosis and weight loss. A 2005 Cochrane review  summarised the situation thus:
"There was not enough evidence to reach a conclusion about other psychological forms of therapy, such as...hypnotherapy, however the evidence that is available suggests that these therapies may also be successful in improving weight loss."
2. The advertiser claims that consumers can "Lose those unwanted inches...Without Exercise! Lose the pounds while sitting or lying down using the power of your own mind."
3. The advert clarifies that the advertised product is a CD recorded by the "Hypnotist to Hollywood Stars Randy Charach".
4. Under Sections 3.1 and 51.1 of the CAP Code, I challenge whether the advertiser holds documentary evidence to prove the following claim, and I challenge whether the claim made for the effectiveness of the product is backed if appropriate by rigorous trials on people:
(i) Consumers can achieve weight loss, without exercise, by listening to the CD.
5. Under Section 51.8, I challenge whether the advertiser gives prominence to the role of diet.
6. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser or the magazine. I confirm that I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser or the magazine.
 Shaw KA, O'Rourke P, Del Mar C, Kenardy J. Psychological interventions for overweight or obesity. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD003818. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003818.pub2 ('Summary' section)