Lifevantage distributors have been using a ABC Primetime video from 2005 as their primary marketing tool for at least 8 years now. What's never mentioned is that the ABC Primetime video is part of LifeVantage's Marketing and PR. You can verify this yourself by seeing slide #34 on this LifeVantage presentation archived on the SEC website, just scroll down towards the end. This is LifeVantage's own presentation to investors detailing their marketing. The same presentation on slide 30 touts the Elizabeth Somers Placement of Protandim on the Today Show, which we know was part of her promotional work with LifeVantage.
I've been told that ABC has stopped LifeVantage from using it on its website. I haven't been able to verify this (it would be private a conversation between ABC and LifeVantage), but it makes sense as you won't see it there. Instead you see distributors spreading it on YouTube and coaching people to use it as a sales tool.
They often don't mention the details that one should consider. Here are a pile of them:
1. It is not disclosed that McCord makes millions from promoting the product. It would have been very easy for ABC PrimeTime to look up and realize that McCord declared himself at least a 10% owner in the company back in 2004. This financial relationship is not disclosed.
2. TBARS are measured, but the test was not run by an independent lab. It was run by McCord, which is particular important due to the financial bias and the fact that there is prior evidence of data rigging in the Protandim human clinical trial.
3. TBAR levels can be influenced by exercise, the placebo effect, or even drinking a glass of juice or taking a vitamin supplement. That's why TBARS is an unreliable test of oxidative stress.
4. Lowered TBAR levels have not been shown to result in any health benefit, and is not a definitive measurement of oxidative stress.
5. ABC has never done a follow-up piece. They also haven't reran the original piece to the best of my knowledge. If they were really the first to report this “fountain of youth,” breakthrough product they would be crowing about it reminding us during commercials of Dancing with the Stars that it's coverage beats the other networks. Instead they appear to have stopped LifeVantage from spreading it tacitly admitting that it was sub-par work.
6. You would think a “medical breakthrough” would be getting front page news and not need to rely on a video from 8 years ago. Why hasn't USA Today, Time, NY Times, Washington Post, etc. covered it?
Primetime and Quiñones promoted faith healer "John of God" in 2005 too! (Update 10/28/2014)
Some might say that John Quiñones is extremely reputable, and clearly he can be trusted. I admit that I love him in "What Would You Do?"
However, just three months before the Primetime video on Protandim was put out, Quiñones and Primetime did another questionable "news" story. Read this about a faith healer calling himself John of God.
Interestingly Primetime went to Dr. Oz for a second opinion. Yes the same Dr. Oz that was being investigated in congressional hearings this year.
James Randi, of the non-profit James Randi Education Foundation was invited by ABC News to give his view on John of God. He has received a long list of awards proving his credibility. However, more importantly, he published the inside scoop about his appearance on ABC Primetime for the John of God show.
That Randi article is a particularly damning view of ABC Primetime's journalistic integrity. He was interviewed for an hour and given 19 seconds. James Randi specifically wrote:
"I had plenty more to say on the subject, and I said it. ABC-TV News didn't want it, and they discarded it, though if they had used it, viewers would not only have been better-informed, but would have understood the true nature of the information they were being shown. Folks, I'm not new to television; I'm very much aware of the fact that most of an interview can fail to be included in the final edited product, but much of what I provided for ABC-TV to use was pertinent data for achieving clarity on a controversial and critically important subject — and it came from an expert. Dr. Oz, who knows nothing about possible trickery, appeared in six lengthy inserts, offering what were in my opinion, the appropriately woo-woo phrases that ABC-TV preferred on screen."
Why would ABC Primetime put together a piece that played up the fantasy of a faith healer when it could have easily been explained? People like mystery and it is good for ratings. People like feel good stories, and someone who can heal others certain qualifies. It's the whole reason why Dr. Oz has such good ratings, but gets stuck in congressional hearings about why he's promoting unproven miracle claims of supplements.
ABC Primetime needed the ratings boost too. If you look at their ratings, they had declined every year for the previous 6 years to the point they were half of what they were before the decline. Clearly ABC Primetime was willing to take scams and report on them being potentially credible, and even ignore experts that could explain them.
(And lest you think that John of God is really another miracle that ABC Primetime uncovered, he's been thoroughly debunked here as well as in the Randi article.
At the end of the day, a smart consumer needs to realize that news outlets put together these puff pieces all the time. Why? Because people enjoy them and its good for ratings. You've seen it before with acai, resveratrol, garlic, hoodia, etc. ABC may have thought they were getting in early on a trend in 2005, but the other news organizations knew better and stayed away.
Furthermore, at the time ABC didn't know that LifeVantage and Dr. Joe McCord were Lying about the Creation of Protandim. They also didn't know that McCord would illegally say that Protandim is about cancer prevention. Back in 2005, Protandim was just being put together and this information simply wasn't known or in the last example, hadn't happened.
If anyone is pitching you an ABC video from 2005, tell them you have a Palm Treo smartphone to sell them. After it does the web!
Many thanks to Lisarob for putting together many of the points in this article.
Originally posted 2013-09-04 17:12:50.This post involves:
Next: Dr. Joe McCord’s Financial Interest In LifeVantage/Protandim