Group-purchasing websites and applications like Groupon and Scoopon have been very popular over the last year and it’s no surprise that the likes of Chiropractors, “alternative” health retailers, or even other retail outlets are jumping at the opportunity to sell consumers products and services that don’t work, for conditions they don’t have.
For most consumer products and services, the repercussions are small – maybe a bit of egg on your face. However, when it comes to advertisements making medical claims, this invokes a couple of laws put in place to prevent people from being hurt, or indeed being scammed.
Today’s Scoopon “Side-Deal” was for a Colon Cleansing – sometimes called colonics, or colonic hydrotherapy. Now, I’m not going to spend this post going over why it’s a load of shit, there are many well-written pieces that look at evidence-base of Colon Cleansing. There’s the Harm from Colon Cleansing, or the fact that The US’s National Council Against Health Fraud position paper concludes that a colonic has no real health benefits. You can look how the concept that digestive waste is infecting other parts of the body is bunk, and if you’re interested, you could even find out “how clean your colon should be“.
Face of Man, the company making the claims seen in the Advertisement, note on their website “Recommended in a course of one per week for 6 weeks for best results.” I’m just going to skip over the fact the listed value is $139 but it’s listed as $99 on their website. At $99 for the each of the recommended subsequent visits, they stand to make a steady income out of consumers; with that kind of time and financial commitment,cognitive dissonance can take care of the rest. Soon, people are regularly reporting how vibrant they feel in an attempt to justify having someone throw water up their arse while claiming it helps their health.
But then, this is what we’ve come to expect from “Alt Med” retailers.