Thursday, 23 September 2010
White Magic For Everyone!
Simon Singh, the science writer and Heroic Defender of Freedoms, got into a lot of trouble recently with the libel courts.
If only he had opened up a copy of Old Moore's Almanack at page 25, and noticed this advert from Finbarr International which claims to teach you how to "Influence a Magistrate or Judge" !
Finbarr International - a mail-order bookseller who are presumably not related to the 7th Century Bishop of Cork pictured above - are offering a book called "WHITE MAGIC FOR EVERYONE".
Besides the ability to interfere with the judiciary, purchasers of the book are promised they will obtain
"X-Ray Vision: See Beyond Material Structures"
That'll certainly be useful for any of my readers who were not born on the Planet Krypton. Some of the less startling claims include
"Make Yourself Better Looking...Stop Hair Falling Out...Multiply Your Chances of Winning Competitions, Lotteries, etc...Have An Affair With Someone...Get Rid of Facial Spots...Overcome Frigidity..."
I'll be sending several Finbarr complaints to the ASA over the next few days. With any luck it'll give 'em a good laugh to help offset the approaching autumn.
"I write to complain about an advert appearing in "Old Moore's Almanack (2011)" (2011 edition, published in June 2010, p25).
The advert, for Finbarr International, promotes a book called "WHITE MAGIC FOR EVERYONE".
I suspect that the advert may be in breach of several sections of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP) code (2010). I enclose a scan of the advert.
1. The advert begins with the text:
"WHITE MAGIC FOR MORE MONEY! WHITE MAGIC TO MAKE HAIR GROW! WHITE MAGIC TO BECOME PREGNANT! WHITE MAGIC FOR WINS AT [the] RACING TRACK! WHITE MAGIC FOR PROTECTION! WHITE MAGIC FOR EVERYONE! ... Invoke beneficient [sic] powers to solve your problems! So simple, even a child can follow! For use by persons of all religions!"
2. Under Section 3.7 of the CAP Code (2010) I challenge whether the advertiser can substantiate any of the following claims, and under Section 3.8 I challenge whether the claims "exaggerate the value, accuracy, scientific validity or practical usefulness" of the advertised book:
(i) "White Magic Spells" can "Make Yourself Better Looking", and
(ii) "Stop Hair Falling Out"
(iii) "Influence a Magistrate or Judge"
(iv) "Create a Money Magnet to Attract All The Cash You Need"
(v) "Make Hair Grow"
(vi) "Find A Lost Pet"
(vii) "Get Out of Debt"
(viii) "Multiply Your Chances of Winning Competitions, Lotteries, etc."
(ix) "Receive Money Owed To You"
(x) "Get Rid of Facial Spots"
(xi) "To Make An Infertile Womb Fertile"
(xii) "Possess X-Ray Vision: See Beyond Material Structures"
3. Under Sections 3.7 and 3.8, I likewise challenge the following claims:
(i) The "24 Sacred Talismans of Futhark" can "BRING VIRILITY", and
(ii) "...BRING SPEEDY CONCEPTION"
(iii) "...BANISH ANY ADDICTION"
4. (i) The advert contains the text:
"And so potent is White Magic that it enabled one woman, homeless and penniless, to obtain the home she wanted! It also brought her a £10,000 win at bingo!"
(ii) Under Section 16.3.15 of the Code, I challenge whether the advert "exploit[s] cultural beliefs or traditions about gambling or luck".
5. Under Section 12.23, I challenge whether the advertiser can "provide scientific evidence, if relevant consisting of trials conducted on people" for their claims that "White Magic" can "Stop Hair Falling Out" and "Make Hair Grow".
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."