It's easy to laugh at the report from British advertising watchdogs scolding Groupon for selling snake oil after the company helped peddle an anti-aging serum last October. A complaint reviewed by the London-based Advertising Standards Authority scolded the Chicago-based deals site's U.K. affiliate, MyCity Deal, for falsely promoting the effects of "Wrinkle Killer Snake Serum" that the ad copy said offered "temporary freeze-like effects on the face muscles" and "leaves the skin looking younger." After what sounds like a pretty scientific study of the snake oil's effects, the ASA deemed the ad "misleading" and subsequently forbade Groupon from running it again.
This is funny for a couple of reasons. The first one is simply the idea that snake oil salesmen still exist in the world and still attempt to sell snake oil. It was over a hundred years ago that the Food and Drug Act regulated the sale of medicines, and while using snake oil as an anti-age serum is not the same as using it cure diseases, it's still a pretty lame way to take advantage of consumers.
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