Wednesday, November 14, 2007

LifeWave goodbye

So the other day I was driving to work and almost crashed into the car in front of me because I was overcome by a sudden rage. LifeWave, who I had heard about on James Randi's Swift newsletter, had purchased some advertising time on Radio 702 to peddle their Nanopatches: devices supposed to use nano-quantum-kungfu-whatever to give you psychic superpowers or something. Take a look at their website and see for yourself.

I try to avoid listening to the radio because it's littered with all kinds of crap. But Hide's been trying to get me to listen, so as to keep up-to-date on everyday happenings of the sort that most people care about (as opposed to the ones that I care about). So every now and then I turn it on for a few minutes until my Crap-o-meter hits the red and I have to put on a George Carlin CD or something to calm me down.

Having become somewhat desensitised to the usual nonsense that our ignorant and talentless radio presenters spew, I was surprised to hear 702 stoop to this new low.

So I wrote a little email to their marketing department.

To whom it may concern.

I was surprised and disappointed yesterday morning when, on my daily
commute, I heard a radio advertisement on 702 for the "LifeWave

As an advertising division of a media corporate, you are all, no
doubt, very busy. I therefore assume that your team lacks the capacity
to examine the credibility of every advertiser who wishes to purchase
air-time on 702.

I also assume that the credibility of your advertisers is of
importance to you, as they are a reflection on the credibility of 702
and Primedia as a whole.

I therefore take it upon myself to inform you that this particular
product, and company, has been exposed as a scam. The "science" behind
the nanopatch devices has been well debunked
( and LifeWave must go a
long way to prove their gadgets' efficacy.

Their advertisement makes a string of medical claims despite the fact
that their devices are not medical in nature. The fact that their
website includes a disclaimer stating that they make "no medical
claims" loses its credibility when that disclaimer is followed by a
list of four separate medical claims!

Although I cannot say whether or not the nanopatch actually works (as
I have not tested it myself), LifeWave have not met the necessary
burden of proof to demonstrate their product's efficacy, and therefore
have no right selling it to a misinformed public.

Of course the choice is yours as to what action to take from here, but
I would be very pleased if this advertisement were to be pulled from
the air with immediate effect until such time as LifeWave can produce
evidence supporting their claims.

In the words of Carl Sagan "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary
evidence." In this case the claims are certainly extraordinary, but
the evidence is not even ordinary, it is practically nonexistent.

Thank you for your consideration.

Owen Swart

That was two days ago now. As I should have predicted, there has been no response from Primedia yet. And I don't expect one.

I haven't heard the advert again, but then I don't listen to the radio very much. If anyone hears it, please let me know. If I get no response from Primedia, my next stop will be the Advertising Standards Authority.