Another (probably vain) plea for truth in advertising
There’s an ad in my Facebook feed today. An MD hawking a newsletter claims to reveal the “secret” to preventing the likes of Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and memory loss. Apparently readers are to believe that he has vital information that his medical colleagues refuse to face or wish to cover up.
My five-word review: The man is a quack.
I won’t link to his website. I don’t want to help it organic search-wise. Suffice it to cite three instances—out of many—of how he uses illogic to dupe:
• “Heart disease,” he writes, “is NOT a result of a lack of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.” Sneaky. One could also say that a broken limb is NOT the result of lack of wearing a cast. Neither statement calls into question the value of casts or cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, but it may seem to at first glance if you don’t think too hard. Our quack is either trying to trick you, or he really is that dumb. No matter. Stay away from him.
• He writes that he was “… motivated to find the ‘causes and cures’ of these neurodegenerative diseases because both of his parents were afflicted with, and ultimately killed by, Parkinson’s disease.” Condolences, but that doesn’t mean he knows what he’s talking about, his medical degree aside.
• Perhaps most telling are his disclaimers, wherein he says that his medical advice isn’t medical advice. Take this one: “The information is not specific medical advice for any individual. The content of this video should not substitute medical advice.” Really? “Causes and cures” sure sounds like medical advice to me. Disclaiming in the small type what he trumpets in the large keeps him legal, but not truthful and certainly not moral.
This quack and whoever writes his ads may believe what they say. Nonetheless, it is poppycock. And poppycock that masquerades as medicine has the power to cause serious harm.
Thanks to ads like this, it’s no wonder that many people think “ad writer” is a synonym for “paid liar.” It needn’t be. Some of us do not accept flimflammers as clients. I submit this (most likely futile) plea to Facebook and other media: Find the wherewithal to ferret out flimflammers and send them packing.
No one knows better than I that advertising pays the bills. No excuse. All false claims, especially medical ones, have the power to harm and even kill. If you don’t believe me, I commend you to the website, WhatsTheHarm.net.