Wednesday, 27 October 2010
The Reviber Bodywave - Wibbly-Wobbly Detox
If you're both a fitness fanatic and keen viewer of TV infomercials, you'll no doubt be familiar with the product pictured below.
The Reviber Bodywave is a wibbly-wobbly shaky-shaky exercise device.
I would certainly like to own one, even though I doubt some of the fitness claims this flyer (available here and here) makes.
The subject of this ASA complaint, though, is the preposterous suggestion that the device can detox your body:
"Therapists use the Reviber Bodywave to... detox their clients... The Bodywave may help your body's natural detoxification processes by enhancing lymphatic circulation (the body's natural detox system) and aiding abdominal peristalsis (digestion)"
As if that wasn't bad enough, the device is claimed to improve the effectiveness of a useless and dangerous quack therapy - colonic irrigation.
"The Bodywave is often used before colonic therapies because it improves the effectiveness of the colonic treatment"
The flyer is distributed by Zen Lifestyles UK Ltd. I fancy myself as not entirely ignorant about Buddhism, and as far as I remember, misleading your customers isn't one of the character traits it encourages.
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 Zen Lifestyles Uk Ltd, promotes the "reviber BODYWAVE", a vibrating exercise device.
I suspect that the flyer may be in breach of one 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 flyer claims that the advertised product can detox the body and improve the effectiveness of colonic (irrigation) treatments.
2. (i) Regarding detox treatments, Professor Edzard Ernst has written :
"Conclusion: Detox, as used in alternative medicine, is based on ill-conceived ideas about human physiology, metabolism, toxicology, etc. There is no evidence that it does any good and some treatments, such as chelation and colonic irrigation...can be harmful. The only substance that is being removed from a patient is usually money."
(ii) Regarding colonic therapies, Ernst writes :
"Conclusion: Colonic irrigation is unpleasant, ineffective and dangerous. In other words, it's a waste of money and a hazard to our health."
3. Under Section 12.1 of the CAP Code (2010), I challenge whether the advertiser can substantiate any of the following claims:
(i) "Therapists use the Reviber Bodywave to...detox their clients"
(ii) "The Bodywave may help your body's natural detoxification processes by enhancing lymphatic circulation (the body's natural detox system) and aiding abdominal peristalsis (digestion)"
(iii) "The Bodywave is often used before colonic therapies because it improves the effectiveness of the colonic treatment"
4. I confirm I have no connections with the advertiser. I confirm I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser.
 Simon Singh, Edzard Ernst, "Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial", 1st American Edition 2008, p308
 Ibid., p304