I am going in for open heart surgery in the next few days…
Before I did, I figured, I better bring this to people’s attention. As a medical device founder, and ex cancer/chronic illness patient, I figured I was one of the best people to do so.
As I explain in this video, right now, Facebook is MANUALLY APPROVING ADs that are illegal by several jurisdictions. One example, a page and facility named VeritaLife, sells cancer patients false, unproven remedies and markets them as cures, targeting cancer patients in the process. They not only make medical claims without medical device/drug approval (yet alone a shred of clinical evidence) – they also do other illegal things, like using testimonials to market medical interventions.
As I explain here, in this article on how these people nearly convinced me to forgo therapy for alternatives – people who even try alternative treatments have a 2 – 5.7x higher chance of death. They’re more likely to avoid surgery, radiation or chemotherapy (7%, 54% and 34% more likely respectively), which leads to these higher rates of death. These people are even more likely, as they will almost ALWAYS avoid proper, proven therapies. There are NUMEROUS examples of GoFundMes sending people to Mexican/Thai/other clinics, that require tens to hundreds of thousands (which is direct profit to these clinics’ bottom lines) – as seen in the video and below.
This could be occurring because they’re located in different jurisdictions. But when advertising to Australia or the United States, I know you need to abide by local ones.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are several similar ads that also toe, or step over the line, when it comes to medical device and wellness marketing that Facebook is getting wrong too (I provide some examples below).
If you see a dodgy ad, you can report it to your local medical regulator, or advertising commission. Here’s a link to the TGA’s one for Australians, the FDA has a complaint process too which can be found here. Feel free to send anything dodgy you see to my Facebook page, or directly to my email info at nikhilautar.com or at www.nikhilautar.com/contact . I’ll compile a list of this. Hopefully together, we can stop this crap.
The fact that Facebook is profiting off this COULD make them liable. Their advertising policies do ban some things (though, as you’ll see below, things do fall through the cracks) such as MLMs, which often lead to dubious health claims, as well as financially drain vulnerable populations. But there are several . So be sure to sign this petition and share it too – hopefully we can make an impact. http://chng.it/n8qQjtVyZb
Here are a few more examples of this nonsense with proof. In that video, I show you how to report and ad to Facebook – which is also a useful way of making change.
Blacklisted sites can still advertise on Facebook.
You can’t find The Truth About Cancer on Google, because it’s either blacklisted, or had traffic diverted due to its promotion of non proven therapies. Yet Facebook approves ads for them.
Toeing the line. Dubious, perhaps illegal marketing making health claims at the very least scam, at the most, target vulnerable populations.
This company sells weighted blankets. They usually comply by laws, but as seen in the final ad, their claim that weighted blankets “reduce stress, anxiety and improve sleep” could be in violation of laws. They don’t have proof to back this up, and aren’t a registered medical device, but give the impression that they are by doing so.
Faceobok pages are VERY effective marketing tools. “Lookalike” audiences target people most likely to want your product. A weighted blanket company uses another page’s profile to sell their weighted blankets. This practice isn’t illegal. But this ad, like the last panel/ad highlighted in red above, did also make the claim, WITHOUT “MAY” or DISCLAIMERS that weighted blankets reduce stress and anxiety.
This isn’t as severe as companies like The Truth About Cancer or Verita Life, as it isn’t targeting people at immediate risk of death. But making false claims can make people with depression and anxiety suffer more. Not to mention, ‘scamming’ these populations and putting them under financial stress is NOT an ethical move.
Forever Living is an MLM – a “multi level marketing” scheme, which are designed to emulate pyramid schemes, but technically they aren’t as they skirt the law (many are pyramid schemes, legally, but are simply not being prosecuted). Facebook’s advertising policy prohibits them for advertising them on the site. Yet here I show one that’s either slipped through their cracks, or going on WITH their knowledge.
As seen here, they also often target stay at home mums, a HUGE demographic of people who are vulnerable to their sensationalist claims of being able to make money from home, and who fall for their cultlike practices.
Send me any dodgy ads you see or join my email list and keep up to date with what I’m doing!
And now… Verita Life
They make false medical claims without any disclaimers, and without medical device approval.
Seen a dubious page on Facebook making dodgy health claims?
Here’s how you go about reporting them.
You can find out more about a Facebook page’s ads by clicking this button.
Click this next – and you’ll start seeing the next screens – the ads that a page is currently running. As seen – you can find out WHERE they’re targeting. The previous page shows where they’re located – as does them obviously mentioning it in the post, as seen below.
An excerpt from their website. They regularly make unverified health claims, but look really professional. It’s understandable how anyone can fall into their trap. They immediately try and enter you into their sales funnel, which mainly comprises representatives contacting you. As I get out of surgery, I’ll investigate this further for sure.
Examples of advertising that’s OK
Top/left – Dubious ‘coaching’ clinics promoting alternative therapies, though it’s doubtful if they work, aren’t illega.
Bottom/Right – Swisse, one of Australia’s largest vitamin manufacturers DOES comply by advertising and regulatory guidelines and almost always adds disclaimers to promoted content.
Thanks. I should be alright during this surgery. But in case I’m not, keep up the good fight!