Denton’s dirty tricks campaign

UPDATE 18/01/13: It appears that Denton has been paying people to sign a petition against me and Jo Brodie. A new Twitter account (@FightRacism2) has also been set up to promote this petition and to spread malicious untruths about us. For further details, see Jo’s Storify post hereThe RationalWiki entry for Errol Denton is also being kept updated with recent developments and new, relevant links.

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Live blood quack Errol Denton seems to think Jo Brodie and I are being unfair to him. He claims we’ve been cyber bullying him for two years, purely because of the colour of his skin. We are lower than a cockroach’s belly, apparently.

Of course, Errol hasn’t substantiated any of these claims. Like many of the claims on his sites, they are totally without foundation.

Sorry for stating the obvious here: I object to misleading and false advertising claims about health. I’m particularly concerned when quacks claim to be able to treat or cure serious and life threatening conditions, especially when the practitioners’ sites also spread mistrust in properly qualified medical professionals. This has never been personal.

Take this paragraph, from a recent blog diatribe:

These disgusting faecal matter have used every dirty trick in the book to defame the name of Errol Denton because of the colour of his skin.  In true Sociopathic RACIST fashion they never once acknowledged the fact that he has successfully treated TWO THOUSAND PLUS satisfied clients suffering from diseases such as; Arthritis, Cancer, Diabetes, Eczema, Gout, Hypertesion and so much more.

I’m far more concerned about his claims to successfully treat cancer than I am about the name calling. Indeed, the name calling is so ludicrous and offensive that I would hope it only serves to undermine Denton’s credibility.

But Errol is determined to get his message across. He has recently been spending his days spamming his own ‘Black Microscopist’ Facebook page with multiple identical photographs of Jo Brodie (taken from her Twitter profile) (EDIT 28/11/12 The photographs of Jo Brodie were removed yesterday). Over and over again, he urges friends and subscribers to sign an apparently anti-racist petition against us. It seems he has even gone to the trouble of setting up a new website just for this petition, after Care2 removed two consecutive petitions following complaints.

(UPDATE 26/11/12 16:38 Errol’s new petition site has been removed by the web host following complaints.)

Should you wish to read more on Errol’s smear campaign, there is a growing list of blogs…

As I’ve been writing this post, Errol’s WordPress.com blog has been archived or suspended for a violation of  Terms of Service but it wouldn’t surprise me if a new blog appears elsewhere. (EDIT 26/11/12 22:12 Errol’s blog is back online.)

How did it come to this?

Errol has an impressive collection of ASA rulings against his advertising (four in total) and is also listed as a non-compliant advertiser on the ASA website. This brought him to the attention of Andrew Penman of the Daily Mirror, who describes members of this Hall of Shame as rogues sticking two fingers up at the Advertising Standards Authority.

Jo and I might have been responsible for reporting Errol to the ASA but ultimately, he has only himself to blame. He first made misleading health claims on his sites and then either refused to or just pretended to remove them.

Errol has an unusual approach to regulators.

As he told Radio 4 You & Yours:

Many say the main job of the ASA is not to protect consumers, it is to debunk alternative health amongst other things. They do so by using the terms ‘scientific’ or ‘medical’ in their language. Nutritional blood microscopy is neither scientific or medical, it is common sense health that always works if people are prepared to take responsibility for their own health,  therefore adjudications on scientific or medical grounds are irrelevant and nonsensical.

Denton may blame me for the You & Yours report. He might think it’s my fault his angry customers found my blog following the farcical Groupon promotion and that one of these women gave an interview about her consultation:

I was absolutely panic-stricken… he told me that I  had mould in my blood, that I had markers for diabetes… but the worst of it all was him saying that he’d only seen blood like mine in cancer patients…

Yes, I’ve been reporting Errol to the ASA and blogging about him but he shouldn’t feel singled out. Indeed, I reported so many quacks last year that the ASA sent me a letter asking me to limit further complaints. A good number of these complaints concerned live blood analysis.

Here are details of the outcomes of all my ASA complaints (and some of Jo Brodie’s) against practitioners of live blood analysis. I hope this is a clear enough demonstration that Errol Denton has not had any special treatment from either of us.

Informally resolved

Advertisers are typically able to avoid an embarrassing ASA adjudication simply by agreeing to remove problematic claims from their advertising. Since this doesn’t make for very interesting blogging, it often means they are also able to avoid embarrassing blogposts popping up on Google searches.

The following advertisers all agreed to amend their advertising after I reported them to the ASA.

  • Jackie Reader (t/a Solar Health). Blogged here. The website is still online but the particular claims I had highlighted have gone.
  • Inhealth UK (Brina Eidelson). Mentioned on my blog here. The website is still online but the claims I’d highlighted have gone.
  • Dipika Joshi (Good Medicine Clinic). The website is no longer active.
  • UK Blood Clinic. Blogged here. The website is no longer active.
  • Ruth Daber. Informally resolved 17/08/11. Website here.
  • Steps to Perfect Health. Informally resolved 25/05/11 (as mentioned here) after agreeing to remove problematic claims from this website. When the complaints were not removed, I complained again and this second complaint was also informally resolved (07/09/11). When drafting this post, I noticed some of the claims had either never been removed or were back. Watch this space.

Rulings

Although Errol’s promotions dominate this category, he is not alone.

    • Live Blood Test. Adjudication against Errol’s leaflet here. Blog by complainant, Jo Brodie here.
    • Fitalifestyle (t/a See My Cells). Adjudication against Errol’s chloropyll claims here. Blogged here.
    • My CityDeal Ltd (t/a GrouponUK). Errol’s promotion. Adjudication here. Blogged here. I also reported later Groupon deals for other practitioners which also made misleading claims regarding live blood analysis. These were passed to compliance. Groupon were later referred to the OFT due to ongoing problems.
    • Optimum Health UK. This is the only one in this category that has nothing to do with Errol Denton. Adjudication here. Blogged here. Optimum Health UK no longer advertise live blood analysis on their website.
    • Fitalifestyle (t/a See My Cells). Adjudication against Errol’s nutritional microscopy claims here. Blogged here and here.

Non-compliant online advertisers

Again, Errol isn’t the only live blood analyst on the list.

  • Fitalifestyle Ltd (t/a See My Cells). Following the ruling mentioned above, Errol moved the ludicrous chlorophyll claims to a different page of his site. The ASA statement is here. My blogpost is here.
  • London Natural Therapies (Katrin Hempel). Following a credulous Evening Standard article on live blood analysis (which was blogged here), Jo Brodie complained to the ASA about the website of the featured practitioner. The ASA statement is here. Jo’s blogpost is here.

Unresolved complaints

The ASA shelved some of my complaints against live blood analysts due to their overwhelming workload following their online remit extension.

The unresolved complaints related to the following companies:

  • Live Blood Test. Errol Denton’s main website.
  • The Natural Health Clinic (Stephen Ferguson). Blogged here, website here.

These sites are well worth a look but don’t worry about reporting them to the ASA. I have done that already.

Errol has only himself to blame

Following our complaints, it would have served Errol better if he had taken the advice of the ASA. He could have simply removed the problematic claims and we may have heard no more about him. Instead, he has refused to amend his advertising and has attempted to intimidate and to smear those who have reported him.

And if Errol’s company had not treated customers rudely and if he had not suggested a customer may have cancer, then those women would not have commented on my blog and Radio 4 wouldn’t have had a story.

Errol Denton has only himself to blame for his problems and his dirty tricks campaign is just making things worse.

EDIT 10/01/13) The photograph of Errol Denton has been removed from this post following a DMCA takedown notice.

EDIT 14/01/13 My new post is a current guide to the outcomes of ASA complaints against live blood analysis advertising (and will be kept updated).

17 responses to “Denton’s dirty tricks campaign

  1. Pingback: Denton’s dirty tricks campaign continues | Josephine Jones

  2. Hi,
    He’s got another petition at http://www.thepetition.co.uk/campaign-to-demand-justice-against-racist-bloggers-jo-brodie-and-josephine-jones
    for which is buying signatures via Amazon’s mTurk crowdsourcing site (violating their Terms of Service) paying 5 cents per signature.
    I have a screenshot of his bribe offer if you would like it.
    Regards
    Anne

    • Ahh the paranoia setting in. It’s lovely to see the septic community stunned into silence at the thought that someone is slagging them off and they can’t do anything about it.

      How does it feel………………..

    • Don’t you love it when the septic community is stunned into silence because someone is slagging them off and they can’t do anything about it.

  3. Thanks for letting me know. I have found the page in question and taken a screenshot.

  4. Kind of funny this really JJ, imagine that you on the end of a smear campaign telling porky pies, cherry picking, believer mania, well you know what they say those who live by the brush die by the brush or words to that effect.

    How many of you had a flu vaccine when the evidence is non existent for efficacy and then accused antivaxxers of being baby murderers?

  5. too right I love the smell of nalpalm in the morning

  6. He’s got another HIT paying for petition signatures up on mTurk (as of 16 Dec 12).

  7. sebastianarmstrong

    That petition site is remarkable, I never knew so many people in India were interested in Microarray fudnign for Wales. I note his facebook page has multiple mentions of him being a Dr, which is bullshit of the highest order. I see from his profile he “studied” Traditional Chinese Medicine at university, no mention of whther he actually compelted the course or dropped out when he realised he could just present complete BS like live blood analysis and scam people whilst wearing a white coat without having to take years to gain a qualification.

    He really is a disgusting scam artist and the ASA don’t seem to be interested in shutting him down, who actually has the remit?

  8. I’m by no means an expert on this and am no lawyer, but this is my understanding of who has the remit…

    If someone repeatedly fails to comply with ASA rulings, there are some sanctions they can use, one of which is to refer to the OFT:

    http://www.asa.org.uk/Industry-advertisers/Sanctions.aspx

    Violations of Consumer Protection laws and the Cancer Act come under the remit of Trading Standards. Consumers are encouraged to contact their local offices or their local Citizens Advice Bureau, who should then refer to the office local to the company in question (which for Harley Street is Westminster).

    Violations of the 1983 Medical Act come under the GMC:

    http://www.gmc-uk.org/about/legislation/medical_act.asp

  9. sebastianarmstrong

    Just tried to check if MR Denton was claiming to be a Doctor again today, and his wordpress account appears to be suspended.

  10. Pingback: A Skeptical Review of 2012 | bladud Magazine

  11. Pingback: WeightWorld’s woeful SEO work | Josephine Jones

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