Why can't "truth in advertising" shut down quacks?

We’ve got a guy who talks for hours at a time (of course I don’t listen for hours but channel surf back to him during breaks in my movie).
He used to sell “alkaline pills” to cure cancer.
Now though, for the past two months, he is shown pretending to host a “Charlie Rose”-type talk show with a “guest expert”. All they talk about is how he is no longer allowed to run his ads because “they don’t believe in unsolicited product endorsements as scientific proof”. He says things like he “knows” that all cancer patients have “acid blood”, so it only stands to reason they need expensive alkaline pills. So, his pitch is almost identical and stupid as before.

Okay, he’s altered his message. This really isn’t new.

Mouthwash that used to kill bacteria and cure the common cold now kills 99% of the bacteria and aids in the protection.

If this guy is like some of the advertisers I’ve worked with he probably has an attorney go over every word before he tapes his “interview.”

You’ve already noted that he no longer makes claims. It sounds like he’s giving his opinions. Opinions are protected as free speech.

This guy has never and will never will make a sale to you. You’re not the demo (or intellegence level) that makes him money.


It’s quite common for hucksters, used snaek oil salesmen, and politicians (but I repeat myself) to use not-lies to promote their agenda. A not-lie is a variant on the ‘negative pregnant’. It’s a carefully crafted staement that has technically true denotations yet patently false connotations.

A (poor) use of the example previously provided, if the mouthwash kills bacteria and viruses perhaps the ad could say,
“May even help prevent AIDS w/o interfering with your intimacy during intimate encounters,”
since the mouthwash woudl kill the HIV “on contact.” Whatever HIV was in your mouth when you used the mouthwash would be killed.

Sounds like Kevin Trudeau. Whatever shred of credibility he had was lost when I saw him playing the role of flabbergasted consumer randomly picked from the audience, in a vacuum cleaner infomercial.