Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmx DOT com

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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Errol Denton / Fitalifestyle: sixth (was fourth) ASA adjudication upheld

Update 12 October 2014: On Friday the subject of this post was fined £4,500 and lost his appeal at Southwark Crown Court. I don't know if the £4.5k is an adjusted figure or an addition to the previous fines. 

Update 20 March 2014: Today the subject of this post was fined £9,000 for nine counts of the Cancer Act of 1939 at Westminster Magistrates Court and handed a total bill (including costs) of over £19,000. He did not attend this final court hearing and did not represent himself.  

One man, six ASA adjudications... an epic tale. 

minilink: http://is.gd/foDseG

Edit 12 March 2013 - There are now six (six!!) Advertising Standards Authority adjudications or other actions against the misleading claims made by this man on his various websites (and a leaflet). It's almost unfathomable but yet another citation against his claims was posted on the non-compliant advertisers today. Probably not that coincidentally, yesterday someone from the ASA spoke to BBC Radio 4's You and Yours specifically about his claims and how they've been unable to get him to budge on them.

You can hear the six minute clip about "the blood test 'expert' who says he can treat cancer yet can't back up his claims" and read the ASA's latest ruling against Live Blood Test trading as Errol Denton

More interestingly, of the 43 advertisers posted on the ASA's non-compliant list three of them have made misleading claims about what live blood testing also known as nutritional microscopy can do. However at least neither of the other two undertook a smear campaign to call skeptic bloggers racist, which seems to have backfired somewhat, judging from Google's autofill.

Edit 27 February 2013 - Unbelievably there's been another ASA adjudication upheld (the complaint was from two different people, neither of them me, I've been reluctant to get involved since this all happened. It means there are now five adjudications (four specifically against Mr D, one against Groupon which was advertising Mr D's services) and a sixth citation for him on the ASA's non-compliant online advertisers list. SIX separate sanctions. Unbelievable.

Edit 16 November 2011 - Josephine Jones tweeted earlier today that Fitalifestyle / SeeMyCells aka Errol Denton has been added to the Advertising Standards Authority's "Hall of Shame" ('advertisers who fail to comply' pages) which didn't surprise me in the slightest. It's not immediately obvious if you're looking in the ASA's adjudications that four of them are about Errol Denton because there are so many different websites and claims involved. Three separate websites (including one on Groupon's site) were cited in four complaints to the ASA (all of which were upheld) on different 'treatments' or diagnostic tests including liquid chlorophyll and nutritional microscopy.

It was only because Josephine (see more below) Googled, found my blog and emailed me that I knew of her other complaints. I've no idea if the ASA's database flag up situations along the lines of "gee this looks familiar" but I know I mentioned within the last month to the ASA that this was actually the fourth adjudication and I suspect Josephine may have done so too, or quite possibly they've looked at our blogs.

I wonder if Jeni Barnett knows...
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Short version
The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld my latest complaint. This adjudication was against Fitalifestyle Ltd’s website which made misleading claims, yet again, about nutritional microscopy – a nonsense diagnostic tool. Fitalifestyle Ltd is the trading name of Errol Denton and there are two main websites: LiveBloodTest.com and SeeMyCells.co.uk, there’s also LiveBloodTest.webs.com.

This is the fourth complaint upheld against misleading advertising claims made by or on behalf of Errol Denton: two complaints were from me and two from another blogger, Josephine Jones.

Previous complaints to the ASA, all now upheld adjudications
 • Leaflet - complaint by me: Adjudication | Blog post this was advertising Errol Denton's LiveBloodTest.com website too

• Liquid chlorophyll from Fitalifestyle trading as SeeMyCells.co.uk - complaint by Josephine: Adjudication | Blog post

• Groupon ad for Live Blood Test - complaint by Josephine: Adjudication | Blog post - this one was particularly interesting as in addition to the misleading claims made about the intervention it seems that a lot of customers had a miserable customer experience as well and many have added their 'testimonials' on a variety of forums on the web.

• Fitalifestyle website (LiveBloodTest.com) - the most recent complaint, by me: Adjudication | (and this is the accompanying blog post)

Longer version
One rather useful thing about the internet is that it helps you draw different bits of information together. It was over a year ago that I blogged about a leaflet for Nutritional Microscopy (specifically that sold by Errol Denton as Fitalifestyle Ltd / LiveBloodTest.com). After learning more about the evidence (none at all) for the claims made I was able to put in a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority which was upheld (and I updated the blogpost). 

A few months after that I got an email from blogger Josephine Jones who said that she’d put in a complaint about someone else who was offering live blood analysis. She also had a complaint against Errol’s website which was making unwise claims about liquid chlorophyll. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with selling liquid chlorophyll (I seem to remember it fluoresces in an impressively blood-red sort of way when viewed under ultraviolet light) but saying that it does anything special when consumed by people seems to be taking things a bit far. Josephine also had a complaint upheld against Groupon because they were selling live blood tests and repeating the misleading claims.
So because Josephine searched online for information on live blood testing, found my blog and got in touch I know that there are at least FOUR upheld adjudications against this individual / company’s marketing for nutritional microscopy (on a leaflet, SeeMyCells.co.uk, LiveBloodTest.com and on Groupon’s website). Probably if she'd not got in touch I wouldn't have known there were this many as I'd not have thought to search for the Groupon one.
My recent complaint, about Fitalifestyle Ltd’s web pages, included the claim that nutritional microscopy provides an “insightful view of the biological terrain” which is a phrase that appears on rather a lot of websites, including LiveBloodTest.com (it’s still there at the time of writing): http://www.livebloodtest.com/what_is_live_blood_analysis.php?gid=6 
That phrase isn’t particularly problematic but I think it does suggest that all of these practitioners are getting their web content from the same place. I think someone’s done an analysis on errors in transcription that appear in various copies of the bible and other texts where monks made mistakes and people can track phrases in different versions of books. I wonder if anyone will do a similar study on this ;)

Next steps
Ongoing monitoring of the site (this can be automated in Google of course) for the misleading words and phrases and their appearance on other pages on one or more of the websites. This has happened before.
Further reading

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on achieving an adjudication against Denton's outrageous nutritional microscopy claims (the particular ones in question appear here on the FAQ page of the See My Cells site: http://www.seemycells.co.uk/store/index.php?act=viewDoc&docId=11).

    I have tried so hard to get a result like this, having put in complaints against both the See My Cells and the livebloodtest sites. It seems my complaints were so exhaustive that the ASA simply did not have time to investigate them fully.

    As you say, despite having two of my complaints against him dropped, Denton has still managed to achieve an astounding FOUR adjudications against his advertising. He has also been reported by me to the compliance team for failure to remove problematic advertising following adjudication (the claims he made about chlorophyll remain online, as does the Groupon ad).

    Regarding the phrase 'insightful view of the biological terrain', I imagine it comes from either course material or perhaps some sort of manual that comes with the microscope. According to his own livebloodtest site, Errol was trained by 'Dr' Robert O Young, who is often quoted as an expert on Live Blood Analysis and Alkaline Diet sites. Perhaps it is his work.

    ReplyDelete

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