tip off

Daily Telegraph spruiks to suckers

Check out this fairly outrageous piece of advertorial guff in today’s Daily Telegraph, with the imprimatur of their technology reporter Stephen Fenech:

A NEW product that’s smaller than a five cent piece but powerful enough to shield us from the potentially harmful electromagnetic radiation generated by mobile phones and other electronic devices, has just been released.

The Qlink Mini employs patented Sympathetic Resonance Technology (SRT) which can maintain the strength of naturally occurring protective energy systems within our bodies.

The Qlink Mini, priced at $48, is programmed with naturally occurring frequencies which resonate with our body’s energy system just like a piano string would resonate with a tuning fork.

Ooh! “Sympathetic Resonance Technology”! “Naturally occurring frequencies which resonate with our body’s energy system”! As @NewtonMark tweeted:

What kind of dark global conspiracy is keeping Q-Link’s amazing technology away from #newinventors? Royal commission!

Check out the scary wavy red lines that will attack you unless you get this “scientifically-proven” product:

Untitled

The story includes the price and website of the product it’s clearly advertising, without of course any alternative view being published as to the accuracy of the claims about the problem, or the effectiveness of the product, or any alternatives. You know, journalism. And there’s no “this is a paid advertisement”, either.

I know few of us reading this site would consider The Daily Telegraph as possessing any credibility it could inappropriately bestow upon any dodgy new snake-oil – but clearly its readers think it does, and it’s important to note when they’re being exploited as suckers.

(Via @mpesce.)

UPDATE: It’s more appalling than I’d realised, because it appears that the “journalist”, Stephen Fenech, is the brother of Mario Fenech, who is a paid promoter of Q-Link products.

What a coincidence! And how mysterious that Stephen didn’t disclose that in his article!

(Via Bill Dennis in the comments.)

UPDATE (10/11): Also coverage by Jason Brown, Crikey‘s Stephen Downes, and, as of Monday 8th November, Media Watch. And Chrys Stephenson argues why this story is really important.

47
  • 1
    lindsayb
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    time to dust off the PhD in aura polishing, and write me up and advertorial!

  • 2
    BTodd
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I’ve posted a comment on the Terrorgooph’s article:

    “Dear Mr Fenech, what is the science behind this item? Is there any reliable, peer-reviewed research which indicates that radio signals are harmful at all? How are ‘frequencies’ programmed into a coil of copper wire, as this item contains? Where is the proof that we have “naturally occurring protective energy systems within our bodies” Is this just an advert for a $48 sham product which targets people with little technical knowledge?”

    Not holding my breath while waiting for the comment to be published.

  • 3
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Err, those red lines are clearly power waves. Those waves actually *increase* your power. You need them to level-up. Anybody who buys this device is gonna have no chance against the final boss.

  • 4
    oldskool
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    “Naturally occuring protective energy systems in our bodies..”

    WTF?

    People do know that this is all just made up bullshit, right?

  • 5
    oldskool
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Bythe way, will this intefere with my Power Balance bracelet?

  • 6
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Ahh those are the nasty red bad power waves as opposed to the happy green ones.

    How about i sell you a rubber band with a hologram on it for $60 or more to improve your balance and strength?

    Also someone sold me the Sydney Harbour bridge the other day. i am more than happy to on sell that.

    I am sure it will be on Today Tonight or ACA within days.

  • 7
    cbp
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    “it’s important to note when they’re being exploited as suckers.”

    Come on, a good laugh doesn’t need to be justified.

  • 8
    zoot
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Do I get a set of steak knives as well?

  • 9
    Chistery
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    “I have patients in my practice who basically are fatigued, tired, have headaches and things like that and we test them and find their mobile phone is weakening them tremendously.”

    “We designed this product to give…mums and their children the peace of mind so they can enjoy using their mobile phones with safety.”

    Text book marketing: Create a problem. Generate fear. Offer a solution. The only thing missing is creating urgency with a ‘limited time only’ offer and free steak knives.

  • 10
    quantize
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Ahh the Tele, continuing to raise the news credibility of shit stained toilet paper.

  • 11
    beej
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Yep, and I’ve got an original Peter Brock “Energy Polariser” for sale…based on the same technology.

    The Energy Polariser and the Qlink mini are both scientifically designed to carefully and gently part a fool and his money

  • 12
    Cuppa
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    There’s one born every minute, and most of them consume Murdoch media and Their ABC.

  • 13
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Hilarious but sad at the same time. This is the same news organisation that sulks about a lack of skepticism over the findings of climate science.

  • 14
    Aldaron
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    People do know that this is all just made up bullshit, right?

    Considering the amount people spend on crap like homeopathy and magnetic pillows, I don’t think that makes any difference.

    The fact that the only “expert” quoted is a “naturopathic physician” should be a dead giveaway.

    modern technology is definitely having a negative effect on our bodies

    That must be why we live 30+ years longer than 100 years ago…

    I personally loved:

    "I have patients in my practice who basically are fatigued, tired, have headaches and things like that and we test them and find their mobile phone is weakening them tremendously."

    Right. What sort of tests determine this? Is it like the acupuncturist I saw once for back pain who “tested” me by taking my pulse (in both wrists!) for about 10 minutes and then informing me my back was sore because I am diabetic and diabetes is focused in the kidneys…apparently he was away the day they taught “anatomy & physiology” at acupuncture school. Either that or “kidney” sounds a lot like “pancreas”.

    He wondered why I walked out…

    Good heavens, do we have to do the Enlightenment all over again?

  • 15
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m reminded of this scene from The Simpsons:

    Homer: Well, there’s not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol is sure doing its job.

    Lisa: That’s specious reasoning, Dad.

    Homer: Thank you, sweetie.

    Lisa: Dad, what if I were to tell you that this rock keeps away tigers.

    Homer: Uh-huh, and how does it work?

    Lisa: It doesn’t work. It’s just a stupid rock.

    Homer: I see.

    Lisa: But you don’t see any tigers around, do you?

    Homer: Lisa, I’d like to buy your rock.

  • 16
    Johnny Come Lately
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    fyi, qlink has been employing this as a marketing strategy for years. The same journalist had a similar article in the Terrorgraph in 2004. See link:

    http://www.qlinkmini.com.au/media-articles.asp

    what a f—ing disgrace.

  • 17
    twobob
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    I am thinking that I might put an ad in the tellie too.
    I think I’ll charge them $5 a throw to solve the headaches and other problems associated with mobile phones by letting them in on this secret weird old tip that is 100% guaranteed to work, money back guaranteed, no questions asked.
    You might be wondering what my fantabulous secret is? And since we are mostly all friends here, I’ll give it to you all for nothing.
    Turn the fµcker off.

  • 18
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Stephen Fenech,
    I will now apply the Law of Attraction and click the heels of my ruby slippers three times to procure one.

  • 19
    Bill Dennis
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Of course, it is PURE COINCIDENCE that Stephen Fenech, the author of the article, is the brother of Mario Fenech, ex Rugby League player and.. wait for it… paid promoter of Qlink products!!

    http://www.mariofenech.com.au/about-mario.htm

  • 20
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Bill, do you have any evidence apart from the name that they’re brothers? If so, there’s even more of an issue here.

  • 21
    Jay
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Jeremy, check this link:

    http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/connect/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/unlocked_iphones_turned_into_ibricks/

    In one of his responses Stephen Fenech says he is Marios younger brother.

  • 22
    Holden Back
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Hey quantize, at least the toilet paper tells you something real, and which it might benefit you to know. Sorry, German background.

  • 23
    SHV
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Stephen,

    You have probably been asked this 1000 times, but you bear an astounding resemblance to a bumbling former footballer who is now prone to humiliating himself on channel 9 (while doing great, worthwhile work for the NRL), are you the Marios Brother or what??

    Trusty1
    Trusty1 of Hootersville (Reply)
    Wed 10 Oct 07 (05:05pm)

    Hi, yes I am Mario’s brother, younger brother I might add. Now I wouldn’t call him a “bumbling former footballer” and I think the other Footy Show cast members try and humliate him rather than Mario humiliating himself. He is the sponsorship manager of the NRL and you couldn’t find a more passionate advocate for the game of rugby league. Also, for the record – I also played for Souths between 1988 and 1991 and managed to play a few first grade games myself.
    Stephen Fenech
    Wed 10 Oct 07 (05:39pm)

  • 24
    Bill Dennis
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Of course, it looks like the comments section of this article must be broked, because none of the comments that people are posting are getting through. Especially the ones asking Stephen about his ongoing fascination with this “technology” that his brother JUST SO HAPPENS to be getting paid to promote.

  • 25
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Nice find, Bill.

  • 26
    Mobius Ecko
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Stuff the body protection crap, I want the devices in the illustration that increase EM power the further away they get from the transmitter. There’s a motsa to made out of that technology. Oh and please don’t tell me it’s a sham illustration I couldn’t take the let down.

  • 27
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Post updated with Bill’s revelation.

  • 28
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    That is a cracker.. certainly a good one for mediawatch!

  • 29
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    I suspect it’s how we “remain profitable”.

    Energy Polariser, anyone? Lets you run on flat tyres, use less fuel, save the ozone layer … who knows, it might have repelled mobile signals as well.

  • 30
    SHV
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Utterly shameless.

    Of course, when people were critical of Your ABC’s and Courier-Mail columnist, Madonna King’s fawning ABC radio interview with then Courier-Mail editor David Fagan about the paper’s “exciting new compact format” (just because he is her husband), there were shouts from News Ltd’s fans that it was completely irrelevant and that listeners don’t need to know these things.

    How long until some sock-puppet shows up here with a similar argument?

    “so they’re brothers, so what?”

  • 31
    davkel
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I like that the iPhone is the size of the man’s body! And what sort of a size head would use that bluetoothy thing?!

    No wonder the red beam’s just keep getting bigger…

  • 32
    JamesH
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    How do we get Bolt to promote this thing? Can we get Bob Brown, or even better Marieke Hardy, to denounce it? I’m thinking about a long-term strategy of bankrupting his readership until they can’t affort to hop over the future Murdoch paywall.

  • 33
    twobob
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    You have to hand it to the SRT marketers.
    Readers of the telle are the perfect audience to sell new fangled tinfoil hats to.

  • 34
    oldskool
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    So, just to vary my earlier thought, if I wear my Power Balance bracelet, and my Q-Llink, I continue to Drive my Brock Director with the Polarizer, and I sleep on magnetic sheepskin things; will I never have to see a Chiropractor, or should I just stick with Crystal therapy- ooh, or acupuncture?

  • 35
    lindsayb
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    From the illustration, it would seem that Apple products might be particularly prone to this damaging radiation problem. Wonder if Steve Jobs might have something to say about this.

  • 36
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Those red rays must be serious though.. It looks like they have singed the genitals clean off the victim.. i mean model. I better buy a Q-link and strap it to my knob just in case.

  • 37
    Aldaron
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Hehe…a friend of mine pointed to this when I mentioned the Tele article to her:

    http://www.ehow.com/how_2049858_make-tinfoil-hat.html

  • 38
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    I posted a comment to the effect that with insightful reporting like that, I’m astounded more people aren’t buying newspapers. Strangely, it didn’t get published. They appear to have since turned comments off.

    @DDsD called Fenech out on the article, and @StephenFenech replied “No it uses scientifically proven technology. Very interesting stuff.” I mentioned that this was really interesting, since there’s a nobel prize in that scientific proof. I asked for a link to the research, because obviously the technology editor for the Daily Telegraph would never publish a claim that something is scientifically proven without first seeing some evidence of that proof. Strangely, @StephenFenech hasn’t tweeted anything at all since then.

  • 39
    nappin
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    I note down the bottom of that … eeerr …article … there is a Recommended button, and the number of recommendations next to what looks like a Facebook symbol. 371 people have recommended this – what the hell does that mean anyway (noting I am not a Facebook fan)? :?

  • 40
    nappin
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    And some other funny technology headlines from Limited News’ news.com site:

    Japan broadband proposal shows fibre-optic’s best – Rupert missed that one.
    Finally there’s protection against spams and scams – From the Tech Blog (aah irony)
    Rex’s month-long Australian crawl – I am struggling with the Technology angle on this one Steve?

  • 41
    Marty
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Steven Novella, of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe, blogged on Sympathetic Resonance Technology a few years ago:

    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=55

    News corp here is getting worse than Britain’s Daily Mail for the constant spruiking of bullshit. I’d ask if they have no shame, but it’s clear they don’t.

  • 42
    ronin8317
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    The ‘Placebo effect’ is scientifically proven. What’s more, a medical research in Singapore has concluded that ‘expensive fake medicine’ is more effective than ‘cheap fake medicine’ :-P

    On a side note about ‘pulse taking’ by the Chinese medicine doctor : anyone who uses that to diagnose disease is merely faking it. The diagnosis comes first, and the ‘pulse taking’ is used to confirm the diagnosis. It is the same as the doctor listening to your heartbeat with a stethoscope, except that you don’t have to remove your shirt.

  • 43
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Looks like Fenech’s story has been pulled.

  • 44
    Aldaron
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    It is the same as the doctor listening to your heartbeat with a stethoscope, except that you don’t have to remove your shirt.

    Nope. Using a stethoscope to listen to your heart tells a doctor a lot more than your pulse rate and whether it’s bounding or thready. He can hear all kinds of things that can lead him to diagnose problems such as atrio-septal defects, valve disorders and heart failure. Things which cannot be detected by feeling a pulse.

  • 45
    Captain Obvious
    Posted November 6, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    It works better if you drink some Magic Water first, just ask Paul Sheehan.

  • 46
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I see that mediawatch picked up on the Q-Link bulltish as well last night.

    If the $48 one works well, I imagine the $1300 gold plated model must be so much bettererer.

  • 47
    twobob
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    @Captain Obvious

    Just where can I buy some magic water?
    And why have you not advertised this wonderful stuff?
    If your interested I know this newspaper …

2 Trackbacks

  1. ...] through the efforts of Jason Brown along with Jeremy Sear and Stephen Downes from Crikey, the story was picked up by ABC TV’s Media Watch and Stephen [...

  2. By An endorsement – Pure Poison on November 10, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    ...] Stephen Fenech recommends this game? [...

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