Boots abuse your trust

I wrote an earlier article discussing Boots and their whoring of useless homeopathic treatments.

I stumbled across this company social responsibility report for Boots, complete with an explanation of their Trust Boots slogan. The text is as follows:

As you may have noticed, that’s the tagline which in 2005 we adopted as the sign-off to all our advertising. But it’s much more than just a slogan. It’s a concise statement of our entire corporate strategy. Our aim is to make Boots the world’s best health and beauty retailer, and we’re 100% clear that the unique trust in which we are held provides the key to achieving this. Which means, of course, that those two words are also the rationale for all our CSR activities. Everything we do that builds trust is good for our business; anything which could compromise it, a risk we can’t afford to take. What did we do to build trust in 2005/06? How far did we succeed in delivering on the promises we made in our first CSR report, last year?

Trust Boots to provide straight answers.

So, how does this text compare with the reality of how Boots conducts itself? Here are some examples.

1) Boots are selling medical products based on homeopathy, an idea that is overwhelmingly recognised by the scientific and medical community as a placebo at best.

2) They are advertising a homeopathic snoring remedy, claiming it is ‘Effective in reducing snoring for 4 out of 5 users’, yet they refuse to explain how they determined this. I wrote to Boots asking them to disclose the research carried out but they response was ‘I am unable to provide you with details of Boots research information as this is commercially sensitive’. Hardly a straight answer.

I would suggest that you read the company report linked earlier in this article. You will find gems such as quote from their Chief Executive.

‘After all, why would anyone trust us to advise them on, say, how to manage their child’s asthma if they had seen Boots being a bad neighbour in the local community, or showing disregard for the health of the environment?’

A very good question. Why should someone Trust Boots when they are willing to disregard the health of their customers by selling products that are based on wishful thinking instead of proper medical science?

So, where will this take Boots. I predict that within the next 10 years, you will visit the pharmacy department to find a trained pharmacist, a homeopathic doctor, an iridologist and a priest. The priest will be selling prayers to aid customers in their recovery.

Sore feet? I prescribe 2 hail mary’s. Would you like me to pray for you now or would you prefer to order them over the Internet?

Boots should not be trusted. They are making bold claims regards corporate responsibility while at the same time selling quackery to the gullible. When questioned, they duck reasonable requests for information and hide behind piss-poor excuses. Of course, all of what they do is legal – yet this doesn’t mean it’s right. Do not Trust Boots.

Please consider contacting Boots to ask them exactly how they test the efficacy of their homeopathic products.

The following links are interesting reading regards Boots and their peddling of quack cures.

Badscience – Homeopathy Packaging And Flu
randi.org – THESE BOOTS ARE NOT FOR TALKING
randi.org – BOOTS AGAIN
DC’s IMPROBABLE SCIENCE page – Boots the Chemists -miseducation

The final link is particularly interesting. It mentions a Boots slideshow that the author describes as an insult to human intelligence. I agree completely.

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3 Responses to “Boots abuse your trust”

  1. David Colquhoun Says:

    I just stumbled across your site via Google. It may interest you that I recently tracked down the source of the “4 out if 5” claim for Boots snoring “remedy” (and more funny business besides). It’s at
    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Pharmacology/dc-bits/quack.html#snore
    This may feature soon on You and Yours (Friday?)

    I see you also allude to Boots “educational pages”. A while ago I posted some of them so people could see the nonsense for themselves, at
    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Pharmacology/dc-bits/quack.html#boots1

    The one thing I couldn’t track down os Sean Kehoe’s email address!

  2. David Colquhoun Says:

    Sean -could you email me about mutual links please?

  3. Sean Kehoe Says:

    Hi David,

    I’ve added the link to your site to this article and sent you a mail to discuss a more permanent link.

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