Friday, 6 August 2010

Michael Cohen (part 3) - the 1-2-1 distance healer

It's time for my third (or is fourth, or fifth?) complaint against Michael Cohen, the magical arm-waving quack healer. (The other complaints are here and here.)

I use the word "quack" without hesitation. Earlier this year I spotted Michael's advert in which he claimed his healing technique could "access the bioelectromagnetic field to rewire the brain and physical body".

When I complained to the ASA, they wasted no time in passing the matter to their Compliance Team for action. (Adverts which are clearly in breach of the advertising codes don't often go to an adjudication.)

Guess what? The exact same advert is still appearing in various quackery magazines. Time for another complaint; I wonder how many times I'll have to repeat it?

"I write to complain about an advert appearing in "Kindred Spirit" magazine, Summer 2010 issue, p64.

The advert, for the "Raphayad TM Bioenergy Healing Clinic", promotes the clinic's healing services.

I complain that the advert is identical to one passed to the ASA's Compliance team some months ago. I can provide an original copy of the advert by post, if required.

1. In April, I sumbitted a complaint about an advert from the same advertiser which was, word-for-word, identical to the one that is the subject of this complaint.

2. (i) Later that month, you wrote to tell me:

"Our compliance team has agreed to take up the case and they will contact the advertiser directly..."

(ii) You also advised me that one part of my complaint, regarding the advertisers claim to treat "difficult and debilitating symptoms" was not in breach of the (CAP) Code.

3. (i) I complain that, despite any action the Compliance Team may have taken, the exact same advert continues to appear in Kindred Spirit magazine. (As well as the Summer 2010 issue, the advert also appeared in the July/August issue of the magazine.)

4. Therefore once again, under Sections 3.1 and 50.1 of the CAP Code, I challenge whether the advertiser holds documentary evidence to prove any of the following claims, and I challenge whether the claims are backed by evidence, where appropriate consisting of clinical trials conducted on people:

(i) The technique can "access the bioelectromagnetic field to rewire the brain and physical body"
(ii) The technique can be used in "Distance 1-2-1 Treatment"

5. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser, the magazine or with the alternative medicine industry in general. I confirm that I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser or the magazine."

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