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Marketplace, Q-Ray Bracelet, and Sandra Post

Thanks to HamiltonHacker for pointing me to a recent CBC [photopress:post.jpg,full,alignright]Marketplace report on the Q-Ray bracelet, which is very popular with golfers in Canada and the U.S.

The report, with Wendy Mesley doing the talking, raises questions about what the Q-Ray actually does vs. what its advertising has suggested it does. In the U.S., the company used to claim the bracelet did remarkable things for joint pain and general wellness. Then the U.S. government (U.S. Federal Trade Commission, specifically) became involved, launching a lawsuit against the firm and finding there was no proof the Q-Ray did anything. The company was ordered to pay $87 million to customers.

More recently the company set up a Canadian office run by the company founder’s son, Charles Park. The report digs into the company claims. Among its paid endorsers is Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member Sandra Post (pictured above, wearing her bracelet). Post, standing on a driving range, gets grilled by Mesley about her involvement with the product, and its claims that it helps pain.

“It is more of a jewelry item for me,” Post says. “I don’t see any harm in it.”

When Mesley pushes her on the matter, especially in relation to the FTC investigation in the U.S., Post gets defensive.

“I can show you the ruling,” Mesley says.

“I know, I understand that’s the case you’re trying to make,” Post says, clearly flustered. “The case I’m trying to make… Wendy, Wendy..”

“It is a court document,” Mesley answers.

“Well fine. I play golf. And besides, the case I’m trying to make to you is that I wear this because I like it as a jewelry item,” Post says, waving her hand at the file Mesley is holding. “Why would I have time to read that?”

Maybe because you’re endorsing it? Maybe because former golf stars should be careful about what they affiliate themselves with?

Post comes across as defensive in the piece, which is pretty damning against Q-Ray. It says Q-Ray used “made up science.” In Canada the company claims not to promote its products in relation to pain, but then CBC catches Park on camera doing just that.

I spoke with Post his morning. She says she didn’t watch the piece — but her husband did. She says she volunteered to speak to the CBC, and that Mesley asked her the same question for a half hour.

“I knew what was coming,” says Post, a former major winner on the LPGA Tour. “You have to understand, for 25 minutes they grill you, over and over with the same questions.”

Did see come across as dismissive? Post says she did — intentionally.

“Am I going to dismiss this? Yes I am,” she says. “It is under appeal in the U.S., but I bet they didn’t say that on the program.

“I’ve always said this is a jewelry item for me. Golfers wear these sorts of things all the time. Every morning I wake up, put on my rings, my watch and my Q-Ray.”

When the bracelets were taken to the University of Toronto to be tested for ionization, the researcher told Marketplace he could probably go to Home Depot and make the same bracelet with “some wire” for a “couple of bucks.” And the company’s founder admits the concept of “ionization” is made up.

In the meantime, the piece cuts back to Post to find out what she’s endorsing.

“I just don’t follow ionization,” she says. “I wear it because it is a jewelry item.”

Checking on the company’s website, you’ll find this:

“I am a firm believer in Q-Ray. I’ve worn them for years and I highly recommend Q-Ray to my family, friends and colleagues.”

Sandra Post
Professional Golfer
LPGA Champions Tour

Now most investigative shows carefully edit their interviews to support their theory. But it is hard to get by Post’s presence in the program.

I don’t know Sandra well — I’ve only met her on a couple of occasions, one being an uncomfortable chance encounter on a staircase at a golf show last spring. I’ve also run into her on the course at the Canadian Women’s Open, and she couldn’t have been more friendly. On the phone today she was more than willing to talk about the show and her decision to be interviewed for it, as opposed to ducking it.

At least it demonstrates she is willing to stand up for a product she endorses.

The complete Marketplace story can be viewed freely online here.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

9 CommentsLeave a comment

  • […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptMarketplace, Q-Ray Bracelet, and Sandra Post By Robert Thompson Thanks to HamiltonHacker for pointing me to a recent CBC [IMG post]Marketplace report on the Q-Ray bracelet, which is very popular with golfers in Canada and the U.S. The report, with Wendy Mesley doing the talking, raises questions about what the Q-Ray actually does vs. what its advertising has suggested it does. In the U.S., the company used to claim the bracelet did remarkable things for joint pain and general wellness. The […]

  • RT…Thanks for this RT. I am really glad that a top journalist likef you conducts the proper amount of due diligence with all your sponsors and advertisers. That is why I visit your blog and use the services of your partners. I know if they are associated with RT they are excellent! I noted paroleservices.com advertises, and I know that you know they are excellent. Thanks. I am sure that you have done excellent work on the lending practises of ICICI here and inIndia. Thanks RT You are the best. Anything associated with a slob journalist like you is of the highest standard. You are a joke.

  • Da Man: Due dilligence with sponsors and advertisers? Who are you suggesting? Google ads? Its called the Internet buddy. I don’t select the ads, but you already know that…

    And if my take on things is so off, as you suggest, why bother coming back? I’m sure you can get your banking info elsewhere — ICICI, where did that come from?

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Your slovenly journalist pal.

    RT

  • RT….What are you saying? That you don’t know the advertisers on your site? So you are associating yourself with advertisers that you do not even know? And that standard is better than Sandra’s standard? ICICI advertises on your site, for your information. Before you make make judgements of others, take a look at the slob journalist in the mirror. Pampers also advertisers on the site. However, I think that is appropriate for you.

  • da man: I run editorial. Google ads are randomly generated based on the content and location of the site. However, I’m thrilled to see Pampers on here, as that’s what my 7-week old uses. I’m fully in support.
    And if you don’t like it, feel free to piss off.

  • Nice remarks! Wonder how Da Man got on the net in the house.

    Sandra is great and if she wants to wear it so be it, I’m waiting for the US courts to rule on rendition, election fraud and other nice things. I see ads in every golf magazine that make so many bogus claims, how about clothing that “wicks” moisture. It’s polyester, it wicks moisture right into your shorts! Science says wicking is BS. It’s wicked out there, let’s leave Sandra enjoying her jewelry and her golf.

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