The glory days of free-enterprise with 30 minute infomercials on TV and radio may be coming to a final end. Will we miss the magnetic personalities of the hosts, and their special guests, or will it be the mutterings of the hypchondriacs and losers who call up the show, week after week, night after night? With Pinkus, like others, it all seems too predictable.
In the past, the United States FTC has targetted other vendors of vitamins and minerals who have made unsupported claims. Some of them have been really high rollers, like A Glenn Braswell, who uses Canadian Mail Boxes Etc. in Toronto as if they are his personal post office. Others have been entrepreneurs, like Jeff Bland, who run companies like Metagenics to massage the wallets of those who want to live forever.
Why has the U.S. government, under Bill Clinton, left Pinkus and his MediaPower company alone all these years? Will George W. Bush do something? I'm not holding my breath.
Michael R. Pinkus plies his trade very well. But, what exactly is his trade? Does he really practice chiropractic? If he does, where is his office, really?
Well, there are some who have spent hundreds of dollars on supplements to cure everything from schizophrenia, depression, ADHD, and all sorts of other ills. You might say that they have been sucked into this with their eyes open. There were so-called "disclaimers" made if you happen to hear the first 10 seconds, or last 10 seconds of the radio show.
Some of these people may have been induced to buy products recommended by someone that they call "Dr.". Is he a doctor, and if he is, what is he a doctor of? I'm not sure that the average listener knows.
The public is entitled to know of the qualifications of those who sell products, because it's illegal for licensed health professionals in this country to sell vitamins, minerals, or supplements in infomercials. They can't even appear in a newspaper article to appear to endorse a product. That's what's so slick about the operators of almost every infomercial heard in Canada. Oh, there are a few highly paid naturopaths who venture into the endorsement trail, but Pinkus stands above them all. He and his entourage feel that they are untouchable.
The media has allowed products and pitchmen with dubious credentials to sell us pills for dozens of conditions and diseases without one shred of evidence for their claims.
Sweet deals for packages of infomercials are arranged months in advance by media buyers and stations who are in need of revenue. Pinkus is certainly not alone here. The second-stringers are here in Canada, too. But, they pale in comparison with MediaPower and Michael Pinkus. Do you notice that the initials M and P appear in both names. Is that just a coincidence?
Those programs aim to convince us that their products, and specifically their products are "the ones" to use for serious health and psychiatric problems. None of it, of course, has ever been the subject of a scientific study in Canada, and perhaps anywhere else.
The magic of Canadian radio is that in Canada, American "doctors", frocked and unfrocked, can just come across the border and sell us any bloody thing the want. Pinkus, who is not a medical or osteopathic doctor, is addressed continuously as if he is a doctor. This is, in and of itself, deceptive. Was the degree that Pinkus earned in clinical nutrition, in behavioral psychology, in neurochemistry or physiology? No, it was from a chiropractic college? What classes did he take in chiropractic college that would give him the knowledge in neurophysiology, or nutrition. Did he intern at a psychiatric hospital, did he teach school, or even work in a diet center?
Does he have any other graduate degree in any subject that would give him the knowledge base to suggest that any of his products would cure, alleviate, or help in any way, any condition that he makes claims for? I say that the public has a right to know.
The claims made by MediaPower and their products are a product of someone with a very intelligent mind and a wild imagination. They either find or invent a product, maybe two or three really big ones. Keep it simple, make the public fearful of the pharmaceutical establishment, then pretend to rescue them by providing them with a mineral or vitamin to do the job. It's almost like selling someone on a new religion, isn't it.
Now here's the really hard part folks, they have to find someone who can hawk this stuff to the unsuspecting public. They find someone like Pinkus, or is it the other way around, I'm not quite sure on that one point.
In Canada, armed with Pinkus in their outstretched hands, they come to station executives and lay it all out for them. "Canadian AM radio is in big trouble, we're here to help." We've got doctors, and chiropractors, and naturopaths and the like who will fill your dreary hours on Sunday morning with profits for you all.
Rogers Communications, or WIC, or Corus, willingly take the money, and they don't really care what you say, because they have a disclaimer that they think lets them off the hook.
It's almost as if Ontario radio stations and their owners have no moral code of conduct. They'll take anyone's money if it keeps them from going under. The three hours of infomercials in Kitchener on Sunday morning on CKGL is just about the best bargain MediaPower, or anyone else could want.
In Quebec, it is AGAINST THE LAW, for a talk show host to do an infomercial. In Ontario, all these folks have to do is to hire an expensive Bay Street trademark barrister to help them fight their way to the top. The Advertising Standards Council sits on their asses and claims that if a commercial hawks vitamins, minerals, or magnets that they have to step aside and pass the complaint on to Health Canada. That's like waiting for the Second Coming.
The Federal government stands around and does nothing to stop the scams because it's too expensive to fight free enterprise.
I ask the general public to put its foot forward and stand up against the scamsters and those who would defend them.
How many millions of dollars have people like Pinkus taken out of our Province on radio and TV infomercials over the last few years?
How much money has Rogers, WIC, Corus made by hosting these ridicuous infomercials? It seems to me that they are probably the only ones who are making money here besides Pinkus and MediaPower.
I have no vendetta against Pinkus and/or MediaPower if they would just prove that what they do is credible. Send me one shred of evidence done by respected and verifiable researchers support your specific products..
So far, all they have proven to me is that they can do anything they want, whenever they want, to whomever they want.
Pinkus and MediaPower might some day have to defend themselves in court. I don't think my little web site will have anything to do with this.
If they take me to court, they will have to present a whole lot of evidence to prove their claims.
So, if anyone out there has information about the claims made by Pinkus and/or MediaPower about any of statements made below, please send them to me:
Questions to answer:
Please save this page, and get back to me ASAP. Big things are about to happen, and I would like to have all those who have serious concerns to get their two cents in and become part of the solution.
- Does Pinkus practice chiropractic anywhere in Minnesota?
- Did he ever see "patients" in Florida or California?
- Did he ever "treat" Barbra Streisand, John Travolta, Burt Reynolds, or Kelly Preston?
- What did he treat them for and what did he treat them with?
- Did he treat them as a chiropractor? Did he treat them when they came to Minnesota, or was it in California?
- Did you think that Dr. Pinkus was a medical doctor?
- Did anyone order any of his products and what were you promised they would treat?
- Did you buy the products because you were convinced by the infomercial?
- How much did you pay for each of the products?
- Did the products do anything for the conditions that you took them for?
- Did you have any side effects from the products that you took?
- Was the labeling in English and French if shipped to Canada?
- Did you ever call the company to complain or get your money back? What did they say if you tried to get a refund?
- Have you ever filed a complaint with Health Canada, the radio station or other media outlet where his products were advertised?
- Did any official of the U.S. Olympic team in 1996 actually hire, approve of, or even know of Michael R. Pinkus at any time?
- If Pinkus was annointed to be in Atlanta by the wrestling coach, why did the Olympic Committee not sanction this?
- Does his support of Scientology really matter to you? Did you buy products because he is a Scientologist? Did you not buy products because you knew he was a Scientologist?
- Does Scientology promote the use of megavitamins, calcium/magnesium, or other nutritional products or supplements? If your answer is yes, what are those that are usually recommended?
- Do you know that Canadian doctors, chiropractors, and dentists are prohibited from doing what Pinkus does in this country? Do you care about it?
- Why was Pinkus put on probation in 1990 and in 1994 by the Minnesota Board of Chiropractors?
- Why have Canadian owned AM radio stations, almost all of them that are now owned by either Rogers Communications, or Corus Entertainment, refused to scrutinize the content of any health infomercial?
- Have station program directors, and Rogers Communcations discussed the real reasons why they run these infomercials with their stockholders?
- Why has MediaPower come to Canada with a stable of ridiculous personalities, who hawk dozens of products that do not have any legitimate medical or scientific basis? Have they been told that our government doesn't care about their claims, and that they have friends up here among the regulators?
- Do you agree that Pinkus advertisements break the Canadian law governing false advertising for supplements?
- Who, in the government of Canada is responsible for allowing this to happen?
- Do you want to help do something about it?