IHRB’s confusing radio ads

IHRB’s confusing radio ads

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IHRB can’t make up its mind. One minute it can grow hair, and the next, it is telling the authorities that it is not in the business of hair growth. Let’s compare what this radio advertisement says, with what IHRB officially told the Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP). First, permit me to remind you that I had sent an official complaint to CRP. Thereafter, IHRB was given every opportunity (as well as an extension) to respond via its solicitor. The Panel assessed the 18-page response and found IHRB to be in breach of so many Codes, that it handed down a Determination on 16 November 2011, finding IHRB’s advertisements and their claims to be, ‘Unlawful, misleading, and unverified, and breached the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code.’ You can read about the Sanctions if you click here. Let’s listen to this radio advertisement and observe the mind-blowing nonsense. Click here to listen to the radio ad which says: ‘Institute of Hair Regrowth & Beauty is so confident about their treatment program for genetic baldness, they’re offering a world-first money-back guarantee. IHRB guarantees to make most of your own natural hair, lost in the last three to four years, grow back, or your money back. IHRB also guarantees to stop further baldness. See the results at IHRB dot com or call 9221 5300 for a free consultation.’

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1982

First, the ad guarantees to make most of your own natural hair grow back. The name of the company is the Institute of Hair REGROWTH & Beauty. REGROW. Means to GROW. So the average person hears that the company can REGROW hair. It is taking money from people who expect their hair to grow. Through ‘Freedom of Information’ and after months of effort communicating with the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Canberra, I managed to secure a copy of IHRB’s 18-page response to the Complaints Resolution Panel. That document, which will be reviewed with a fine-tooth comb at this link, has a final sentence which reads, ‘It is respectfully requested that a copy of this response not be provided to Mr Nader.’ I wonder why his solicitor, on behalf of Mr Sam Cohen, does not want me to see the document? Could it be because I can spot the hilarious bits?

An extract from the document released by the TGA under the Freedom of Information Act.

Here’s where the laughter begins. In every document, brochure, testimonial, business card, folder, and advertisement (including its website) IHRB promises hair GROWTH. Yet, when challenged about what that means, the solicitor, tells the Panel, ‘Our client does not promise to regrow hair on bald heads. What he does offer is assistance in seeking to impact upon the conditions causing hair loss, the improvement of the scalp and improvement of dying hair into a better texture.’ The radio ad you heard above says that IHRB is confident that it can make most of your own natural hair (lost in the last three to four years) grow back. What do we call someone who has had no hair for four years? A bald person? Well, it seems that IHRB does not promise to regrow hair on that bald head. Excuse me? The radio ad says that it does, while the submission to the Complaints Resolution Panel says that it does NOT! Which is it, Mr Cohen? Let’s look at the photos that IHRB shows its clients in hand-outs, in ads, and on the wall of its office which I saw when I walked into Mr Sam Cohen’s Pitt Street office (IHRB has since moved to Leichhardt). Do these photos below look like they are of people who had lost their hair? Or am I daft and unreasonable? These people were bald, and regrew their hair. I do believe that they DID grow their hair. However, we have to wonder what medications they took, to achieve this result? I say they took some (or all of) Minoxidil with Retin-A, Finasteride, Loniten, and such like. Medications that are either available on the market for $12 a bottle, or are not approved by the TGA, or are known to cause instant death, heart failure, breast growth in men — leading to breast cancer — not to mention permanent and persistent erectile dysfunction and other horrid side effects. Either way, these products can be purchased on the market, if a consumer were stupid enough to take them. So where does IHRB come in? Why does it list its program at $4,900 plus ongoing costs for useless shampoos, and the illegal sale of medications which IHRB was found to be selling (after a Police raid discovered hundreds of medications that IHRB was never authorised to have or sell (at rates of up to $900 for a bottle that people could purchase from their local compounding pharmacy at $70 retail). By the way, here is a testimonial which IHRB peddles, showing a person who says they were bald for at least 10 years! What kind of mixed messages is IHRB giving?

DIATRIBE

Mr Cohen says that he is in the business of ‘…seeking to impact upon the conditions causing hair loss, the improvement of the scalp and improvement of dying hair into a better texture.’ What does that mean? Why does IHRB not say this in its ads! Please read it a few times and see if you can wrap your brain around that convoluted statement. How does IHRB seek to impact upon the conditions causing hair loss? What is that? Does it try to impact the balding gene? Is there such a thing? If IHRB can do this, how? With its own products, or with products already on the market? It certainly does not do it with its own products. If it had products to do this, IHRB would have been taken-over, and Mr Cohen would be one of the richest men in the world. But first, he would have to register his product with the TGA. He hasn’t… therefore he doesn’t! Simple. He just uses what is already on the market. Why should anyone pay such exorbitant prices for products already on the market? It’s like someone running a business that seeks to impact upon the conditions causing erectile dysfunction. How? They sell Viagra by pretending that they invented it. Why would anyone pay $4,900 plus $900 per packet thereafter for Viagra, when they can go and buy it themselves after they obtain a prescription from the doctor? Besides, IHRB is not licensed to sell medications. In fact, for illegally selling medications, it was slapped with a Permanent Prohibition Order by the Health Care Complaints Commission.

DYING HAIR INTO A BETTER TEXTURE

Then we are told that IHRB improves the scalp? How? With useless shampoo that does more harm than good? As for dying hair, here IHRB is admitting that it tries to (without ever telling any client or doctor) that it places a hair-dye in the topical solutions (notwithstanding that adding anything to any chemical solution could render the whole medication useless, or could make it more dangerous — just ask Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde). Why? I believe it’s because sometimes, Minoxidil does not work too well, and it only produces super-fine hair that has no colour. By adding the dye, I believe it is a temporary cosmetic illusion that gives the client a sense of a darker fuller scalp. A few washes, and the dye washes out, making the hair white/clear and almost invisible because it is like peach-fuzz. Why do I suspect that IHRB uses hair dye? There are two reasons.
The first is that IHRB says so, in the document to the CRP. It says, the solicitor, that it seeks improvement by dying hair into a better texture. The second, we see in this letter from IHRB to its first pharmacist that it wants the pharmacist to inject a ‘Colour Solution’ into the topical solutions. The pharmacist has since made a statement that he never used the ‘suspicious’ liquids. More on that saga if you click here.

STOPPING FURTHER BALDNESS?

For a radio ad of 68 words, it sure packs a lot of bold statements. How does IHRB stop further baldness? Using Minoxidil (available over the counter from any licensed pharmacy or on-line at $12 per month) and Finasteride (easily obtained from any pharmacy if one’s GP decides it’s safe to write-out a prescription)! These are just a few dollar’s worth, so why would anyone go to IHRB and spend thousands of dollars to illegally purchase medications from an unlicensed man who has a criminal conviction for lying about his qualifications, and a Prohibition Order for endangering the health and safety of his clients, and Sanctions for unlawful, misleading, and unverified ads?

WORLD FIRST?

An IHRB ad in the ‘Daily Telegraph’ on 2 September 2010 claiming a world’s first (which readers could mistakenly presume that the medications or the treatment are the first of their kind in the world).

This radio advertisement started to air in 2010. It says that IHRB offers a world-first money-back guarantee. This is an outright lie. First of all, does IHRB know what they are doing in Russia or Austria or in Greece? How can Mr Sam Cohen know that his offer is a world-first? Worse than this, is the fact that Mr Cohen had worked at Ashley & Martin in the olden days. He worked there (he claims) for over 33 years. He held a senior position. He was in charge of sales. So you would think he ought to know that in 1995, Ashley & Martin had a full money-back guarantee on the medical treatment (called the RealGROWTH program). Ashley & Martin still offers that full money-back guarantee to this very day. IHRB was launched in 2002. So Ashley & Martin was offering the guarantee eight years prior to IHRB being formed. So how can the radio ad and the press ads make such false claims? It’s just typical of IHRB and Mr Sam Cohen’s modus operandi.

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