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Product: Health & Beauty
Advertiser: Positive Life
Medium: Online - Social Media
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 3.3, 3.24(a), 4.1, 4.4, 11.1, 11.4
An event advertised on Facebook stated:
“Positive Nights: Sofia Waapiti Ra on Living as a Breatharian”
Details of the event included:
“This evening visionary & mentor Sofia Waapiti will be touching on the practice of Breatharianism.
Sofia will talk about the many methods used to assist in this process to cultivate prana, qi or energy, such as qigong, bigu and sun gazing where the gathered energy is then used to support the physical body by filling it with life force energy. Other methods are breathing techniques and meditation, learning to use the pranic breath to sustain the body vehicle. Sofia herself has lived for the past year without the need for food and has developed the ability to draw life force energy from other sources. This is a process that is not to be taken lightly and requires a long preparation period and on this evening we will explore how it has worked in Sofia’s experience.”
“Click below to get your tickets:
The complainant considered that the event was pseudoscience, promising to disclose the secret to replacing food with breathing exercise which he considered was providing medical advice. He also considered that it was targeting vulnerable groups, such as those with eating disorders.
The promoter, Positive Life, stated that the event was an evening to hear a persons’ life experience and that Ms Waapiti Ra was not encouraging anyone to take the practice on. They said that this was her own personal experience and she was not offering any course or event, just her own life story.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee considered that the event was aimed at those who were interested in the practice of Breatharianism and noted that the link used to purchase tickets was titled “a talk on the practice of Breatharianism”, which they considered was publicising the practice of Breatharianism.
The Committee noted that the advertising referred to the presenter living ‘without the need for food’ and having developed “the ability to draw life force energy from other sources”. Whilst also noting that the advertising referred to the fact that the process was not one ‘to be taken lightly’ and that it required ‘a long preparation period’, the Committee considered that the advertising was promoting the practice of Breatharianism.
The Committee considered the advertising was encouraging and condoning a dangerous behaviour. They also noted that substantiation for the claims had not been provided. The Committee concluded that the advertising was in breach of Sections 3.3, 3.24(a), 4.1, 4.4 and 11.1 of the Code.
The advertisement must not reappear in its current form again.