Advertising mailers in disguise

Advertising mailers in disguise

The Journal of Longevity: Medical Research Reviews in Preventive Medicine Fields looks like a magazine. But it is published by Health Quest Publications, which, like Gero Vita International, is one of the companies of nostrum promoter A. Glenn Braswell. Senator John Breaux (D-Louisiana) stated at the investigative hearing he chaired on September 10th that the Journal of Longevity “is simply an elaborate, somewhat misleading advertising tool that markets several of Gero Vita International’s products.” Other companies use similar advertising tools to get consumers’ attention and convince them to order dietary supplement products.

The 24-page, Spring/Summer 2001 “Special Edition” of the tabloid-style M.D.’s Nutritional Bulletin has a price of $5.95 indicated on its front page. The same price appears on the front page of the 24-page Fall 2001 “Special Edition” of the tabloid-style Doctor’s Nutritional Journal. Nevertheless, consumers who did not order these tabloids received them in the mail without charge. This does not mean they received gift subscriptions. These printed materials are designed to look like newsletters. They contain what look like articles. But all of the “articles” function as advertising copy to sensationalize supposed health benefits of consuming chlorella, a type of green alga.

The return address on each tabloid is that of Sun Chlorella USA of Torrance, California. Each tabloid concludes with an order form for “Sun Chlorella Starter Packs” featuring Sun Chlorella tablets along with promotional videos and literature by Sun Chlorella pitchman Michael E. Rosenbaum, MD. At www.michaelrosenbaummd.com, Dr. Rosenbaum is described as “a [p]ioneer in nutritional medicine” and “[a]lternative health practitioner specializing in: [d]ifficult to diagnose diseases and conditions …]. The pitchman in Doctor’s Nutritional Journal is Dr. David Nelson of the Center for Advanced Medicine in Encinitas, California and co-host of the radio show “Health Talk: A Second Opinion.” According to the Center’s Web site at www.ctradmed.com, Nelson has a PhD and ND. It does not say what institutions granted these degrees.

Popular Health has a cover design similar to those of newsstand health magazines. The price indicated on the cover is $2.95 for the Summer 2001 “issue” and $6.50 for the Summer/Fall 2001 “issue.” Consumers received these printed materials in the mail without charge, but again, this does not mean they received gift subscriptions. The Summer 2001 “magazine” promotes a product called Achieve ES–said to be composed of precursors of testosterone–to enhance male sexual performance. The Summer/Fall 2001 “magazine” promotes PRIMOSTAT[TM], a human growth hormone product, to “STOP–EVEN REVERSE AGING!” Each Popular Health contains a form to order its featured product from Bentley-Myers International of Vancouver, BC. (The phony magazines were mailed to consumers from Wisconsin.)

The only topic of the 4-page Spring 2001 Health Newsletter of Dr. Knoll Products, Inc. is Strauss Heart Drops. The product is described on the front page as a treatment to “cure heart disease” and “a safe sure way to unclog your arteries!” The remaining three pages consist of testimonials. At the bottom of each page in tiny print is a disclaimer:

“These testimonials do not imply that similar results will happen with your

use of our products. These testimonials are not intended to recommend any

supplement as a drug, as a diagnosis for specific illness or conditions,

nor as a product to eliminate diseases or other medical conditions or

complications. We make no medical claims to the benefits of any of our

products to improve the medical condition of individuals.”

The disclaimer does not appear on an inserted page, which consists of a letter hyping Strauss Heart Drops followed by a form for ordering the product.

COPYRIGHT 2001 National Council Against Health Fraud, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group