Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Petri Murien, the modern alchemist
I've been hoping to write a complaint about a genuine alchemist for some time.
Thanks to Kadak Health Products, distributors of TonicGold - an "Original Alchemical Golden Elixir ®" - I finally can!
The claims for the potion are not that impressive - it supports the "healthy function of the immune system and major organs of the body", for example.
However, TonicGold is marketed as a dietary supplement. That's lucky for me, since the advertising regulations are rather strict.
The flyer (available here and here) provides some excellent comic relief with its hilarious claims about the inventor of the product.
"Many have attempted to acquire the secrets of alchemy, but very few have truly succeeded... Petri Murien, the creator of TonicGold... was initiated... into the secrets of alchemical knowledge [in India]"
What a hoot!
I have one question, though. I always thought that alchemists were supposed to turn base metals into gold. Petri seems to have got it the wrong way around:
"This potable [drinkable] gold is blended and fixed in a base of carefully selected and synergistically combined essential oils..."
ASA complaint follows!
"I write to complain about a flyer I picked up at the CamExpo exhibition in London on 24th October this year.
The flyer, for Kadak Health Products, promotes TonicGold, an "alchemical golden elixir".
I suspect that the flyer may be in breach of three sections of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP) code (2010). I can provide the original flyer by post, if necessary.
1. The photo on the front of the flyer shows the label of the advertised product, which reads:
"Tonic Gold - The Original Alchemical Golden Elixir(TM) - Dietary Supplement 10ml (.34 oz)"
2. The flyer makes some claims for the "BENEFITS" of TonicGold. The claims appear together with the following disclaimer:
"This product is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease."
3. As TonicGold is described as a "Dietary Supplement", I challenge whether the following statements are in breach of Section 15 of the CAP Code (2010):
(i) TonicGold "Soothes the central nervous system"
(ii) TonicGold "Supports healthy function of the immune system and the major organs of the body"
(iii) TonicGold "...positively affects the metabolism and the circulatory system"
4. The flyer makes some claims for the efficacy of alchemy. Appearing as they do in an advertisement for a dietary supplement, under Section 3.1 I challenge whether the following claims are misleading, and under Section 3.7 I challenge whether they can be substantiated:
(i) "Alchemy is a...science..."
(ii) "An alchemist...is able to duplicate and accelerate the natural evolution of matter and spirit through the processes of transmutation [turning base metals into gold] and transformation..."
(iii) "Many have attempted to acquire the secrets of alchemy, but very few have truly succeeded", a claim which presumably refers to "Petri Murien, the creator of TonicGold" who was "initiated...into the secrets of alchemical knowledge" while in India.
5. I confirm I have no connections with the advertiser. I confirm I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser."