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A cure for tics? When pigs fly … or sell supposed cure-alls

I am steaming mad tonight, and it’s not that Stink’s tics are pretty nonstop. Quite the contrary, I am really taking on my mantra: “If you can’t fix the tics, fix yourself.” I am exercising, relaxing, off the wine  (in an attempt to drop 15 pounds) and just counting my blessings.

I’m mad about the response I received from an advertiser who will remain nameless. I will not reveal if this advertiser sold magic pills, e-books, supplements or therapies for tics. I will just say that they claim to stop twitches and sounds for a fee that’s more than a cup of coffee but less than a pair of Lucky Jeans. (Evasive enough? Good. Let’s continue.)

The ad promises it will work 100 percent and that their own kid suffered from tics and they can END! YOUR! KID’S! TICS! ALSO! It’s that easy! Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wrote them and said I would do a review for them in exchange for a free product. I was upfront that I could not spend more $ on something that I wasn’t sure worked. “But if it’s all it claims to be,” I wrote, “Then I will shout it from the rooftops and spread the word throughout Happily Ticked Off, Facebook and the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome.”

I would run a contest to get him more traffic! It would be a win-win for my son, his wallet and nervous parents everywhere.

I received a quick response where I was asked for my site stats. I sent him a copy of them. (Believe me – I’m not exactly getting a million hits per day.) He wrote back 24 hours later with this response. What you see is unedited. The first paragraph is in relation to my question about tic elimination.

His response

From my own experience and from feedback I get from people I would say the following numbers apply:

50% total elimination – it can take anywhere from a week (! but these are rare cases) to 3-4 months

30% significant reduction – and I mean noticeable and significant!

20% no significant change. Although many people say the kids are less hyper and calmer. And happier.

I think you would understand why i am hesitant to commit to your proposal…

Do I send you the eBook, wait for you 2-3 months and then unfortunately your case belongs to the 20% or even 30% and I get a nasty or no review?
My reputation could be damaged unfairly…

YES – i know! The way the sales page appears is as if this is the miracle cure. Sorry ….. so does every other product. My website consultant suggested and created it. (the testimonials are real by the way !!!)

If you want I can have (someone) Paypal you some money so it will be a paid post and you can just review the product and mention its existence. You can also run a contest for a free copy.

I am not doubting your integrity as a writer – i would not want it any other way!
All I am saying is for you to understand my situation and realize that marketing and reality are not always on the same page.

He goes on to say a few more things, then ends it with, “God Bless.”

My thoughts

This person is willing to falsely lead frantic parents down a primrose path and then tell us that we are stupid for believing him since ads are never real. Translation: “We are complete and total frauds, but we need cash. PS: Jesus Loves You.”

My response

Hi –
 
No problem. I totally appreciate you getting back to me.
 
I suppose I’m disappointed because, even if your marketing director said to do it a certain way, it’s kind of false advertising. Either it works 100% or it doesn’t. Your ad is appealing to people like me who, in desperate situations, will do anything to make their children’s lives better.
 
I think it would be more honorable to tell the truth: This works x amount of times and in x amount of cases. But that doesn’t sell as much product.
 
I don’t mean to sound high-handed. But it’s disappointing.
 
For the record, I would NEVER repeat an email from you or discredit you in any way. I’m not into character defamation of any kind. But I will tell my readers to be aware of ads that promote cure-alls.
 
I would ask you to humbly search your heart and consider revising your statements in your ads. It would add sooooo much validity to you.
 
Again, thanks for your honesty in your letter back. I wish you the very best.
 
Their response

I agree !!!!
In an ideal world…..

I’ll tell you what:
Show me ONE ad/website/print that gives percentages and I will pay to have my site revised and rewritten!!!!

God Bless!

My response back

I do understand. I really do. But this isn’t a cleaning product – it’s placing false hope for a real disorder that affects real people. I understand that you need to make money, but there are some things where it’s more important to do the right thing. THAT’s what God blesses. It’s not a catch phrase or an email tag line. 
 
With all due respect, you should be really ashamed of yourself.
 
His response back
 
I’ll never know. I will delete it without looking at it. I can’t waste any more time on this. As the Bible says, “Don’t throw pearl to swine.”
 
God Bless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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