Saturday, 14 August 2010
Amega Global's "exciting new technology"
Amega Global is one of those multi-level-marketing companies you wish your mother had warned you about.
They offer a range of bullshit "energy" products which seem to defy the laws of physics - but not the laws of capitalism, apparently, since the company seems to be quite successful.
If you've run across them, it's probably because of the efforts of one of their "affiliates" (salespeople). One of them is "Valerye", who put this advert in Nexus Magazine:
"ZERO POINT ENERGY products. Exciting new technology. Increased well-being for yourself, family, friends and animals. Can also be used to energise plants, food and liquids..."
Can either Amega, or "Valerye", substantiate these amazing claims? Let's find out! ASA complaint follows.
"I write to complain about an advert appearing in "Nexus" magazine (August-September 2010, Vol 17 No 5, p76).
The advert, for Amega Global, promotes an "exciting new technology".
I suspect that the advert may be in breach of seven 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 includes the text:
"ZERO POINT ENERGY products. Exciting new technology. Increased well-being for yourself, family friends and animals. Can also be used to energise plants, food and liquids. www.wandtheworld.com/?go=amega-miracle firstname.lastname@example.org 01276 857243"
2. (i) Physicists use the term "Zero Point Energy" to describe the theoretical lowest energy state of a quantum mechanical system . A multitude of companies offer products that claim to exploit "Zero Point Energy", and the advertisers, Amega Global, are prominent among them.
(ii) I have been unable to find any scientific evidence supporting the claims made for any "Zero Point Energy" device.
3. Under Sections 3.1 and 50.1 of the CAP Code, I challenge whether the advertisers can substantiate any of the following claims:
(i) "ZERO POINT ENERGY products" can cause "Increased well-being for yourself, family, friends and animals"
(ii) "ZERO POINT ENERGY products...Can also be used to energise plants, food and liquids"
4. 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." 
5. (i) Under Section 4.1 of the CAP Code, I challenge whether the advertisers have complied with their "primary responsibility for ensuring that their marketing communications are legal" in relation to their products which, they claim, can be used to treat animals.
(ii) Under Section 4.1, I challenge whether the advert may incite anyone to break the law.
(iii) Under Section 4.2 I challenge whether the advertisers have stated their products can legally be sold for use with animals, if they cannot.
(iv) Under Section 2.2, I challenge whether the advert has been "prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society".
(v) Under Section 6.1, I challenge whether the advert exploits the "credulity, lack of knowledge or inexperience of consumers" by not mentioning that, under the Act, only registered veterinarians can treat animals.
(vi) Under Section 7.1, I challenge whether the advert 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)