Advertising campaigns: homeopathy or a sceptical series?

By Grant Jacobs 26/02/2010

The atheist bus campaign has me thinking… what if there were a similar campaign against homeopathic remedies? Or an on-going series of advertisements questioning dubious practices of all kinds? Fridays are good for day-dreaming, right?

uk-bus-2NZ Bus seems to have had an attack of tremulous timidity in the face of ’some’ complaints and have withdrawn their initial approval, the advertising campaign is getting plenty of attention as a consequence of their withdrawing approval. (Articles I’ve read don’t have them saying how many complaints were received from, nor from who.)

It strikes me this is strategy where the advertisers more-or-less can’t completely lose. If the advertising company pulls out, the withdrawal only attracts more attention!

Imagine a series of sceptical advertisements, perhaps run along the lines of the Tui beer advertisements? (For those from overseas, this local beer company is famous for it’s marketing campaign featuring a two part advertisement with a short statement on the left-hand side and ’Yeah, right’ on the right-hand side. They’re typically to the point and unsubtle. Think: ’Homeopathic remedies work. Yeah right.’)

Tui, or a rival beer company, might be a fine sponsor. The billboard companies that carry their advertisements don’t seem to have much trouble putting up some rather questionable advertisements after all…

Topics? More that you can cover with a sack of healing crystals.

From Sciblogs alone, and a few minutes of my time, I get more than enough. Homeopathy. Ginko Biloba and improved brain function in the elderly. Chiropractic ’medicine’. Facilitated communication. People must drink eight glasses of water a day. Miracle mineral supplement (MMS). Even wider topics like junk food at schools or the value of supplements to the typical person could be considered. There are many more ideas if you search around sciblogs. (Try looking under ‘Health and Medicine’ in the titlebar above this post. There are many more than I’ve listed here.)

So… slogans.

I’m challenging you, readers. Let’s face it, it’d take a fair bit of effort to run an advertising campaign. Most of us aren’t up to that, but there is a comment box below this article begging to be filled in…

So with that lesser goal in mind, I’m going to kick this off by borrowing from the 1023 people:

Q: How does homeopathy work? Answer: it doesn’t.


Homeopathy. There’s nothing in it.

Ginko Biloba… how do I remember thee?

Remedies without supporting evidence: that’s wishful.

You could be more serious about it all and have ’genuine’ slogans (’You want supplements? Have a healthy diet.’), but this is for a little light relief and entertainment. This is a Friday end-of-week post, after all.


Hat tip to Orac for the posting the example homeopathy slogan.

I’m just putting this out as a stop-gap while I write a few more substantive posts that will take a bit of time to reach readers… this is a rather feeble little blog post without much real connection to science… my humble apologies and all that mumbling stuff.

Weird. The scheduling went wrong, this isn’t supposed to be out for a few more hours. My mistake or a bug in WordPress, but either way: sigh.

Other lighter posts on Code for Life:

Undiluted humour: If Homeopathy Beats Science

Preconceptual science, the dismissal-ness of it all

Singing for science

New decade cartoon: Calvin on scientific progress

Craziest research paper titles, awards and authors

0 Responses to “Advertising campaigns: homeopathy or a sceptical series?”

  • Chiropractic, A Cracking good time!

    too positive sounding? How about:

    Chiropractic, it’s a Snap!


    Chiropractic, what a pain in the neck.


    Homeopathy, nothing is as effective (stole that from someone, but forget who, sorry)

    Miracle mineral supplement, if it works, it’s a miracle. (that one is from a loonytunes cartoon I think)

  • What can I say, chiropractic’s strong arm methods (in and out of the exam room) really bring out the best in me. 😀