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Does it Work? Unsure if the latest product or service lives up to it's claims? From popular products to the latest scams, discuss it here before you buy!

Before you get taken in by testimonials....

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Old 04-25-2007, 11:01 AM   #1
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Default Before you get taken in by testimonials....

Most diet product ads show before and after pictures along with glowing testimonials. Can you trust them?

We've heard from members in the past that noticed the same pictures being used for multiple products.

We've also heard from a tv producer that told us they hire fitness models and film the "after" first, then pay the model to gain weight so they can film/photograph the "before" image.

Now we've just read an article about a woman in New Zealand who discovered that her photograph is being used by an American company to promote diet pills. They simply copied her photo from a New Zealand magazine which was an advertisement for her own company (not diet pills). The same diet pill company also used false claims that Oprah and other celebs endorsed their products, when they didn't.

The next time you see a diet pill ad and that little voice inside tells you that it could work for you because it worked for them, please remember this post. If the pills really worked, they wouldn't need false advertising to promote them.
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Old 05-10-2007, 09:13 AM   #2
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Another thing I was made aware of that really opened my eyes was the use of a very svelte, fit woman who is planning to have a baby and use the before the pregnancy picture as the "after" picture. After she gains weight throughout the pregnancy and delivers the baby, they hurry up and take the "before" picture.

Anyone who has kids knows the kind of havoc it creates on even the fittest body. They could have used my before kids picture (when I was 20) at about 115 lbs and used my week after delivery at 135 lbs pic, reversed them and showed "amazing results"! What "6 week results" they could have if they cut and pasted my current head onto my young body and used my current body (at 35 yrs and 150 lbs) as the "before"! You get the picture.

Look at the older women in the ads. Their faces look 40-ish but their bodies look 20-ish. We all know your skin changes. I don't know any fit 40-year- olds who have the body of a 20-year-old....they have the body of a fit 40-year-old!

Confession: I was once taken in by Hydroxycut (due to the marketing photos). It didn't work.....AND I experienced withdrawal symptoms when I ceased use!
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:10 PM   #3
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That is terrible. I am not surprised. unfortunately too many people want a miracle cure. The only way to truly lose weight and be healthy is to exercise and eat healthy foods in moderation.
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Old 03-29-2008, 01:29 PM   #4
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I know what you mean about the withdrawal feelings from Hydroxycut. I noticed that on the days that I didn't take it, I would have terrible headaches until I had something with caffeine in it. I don't usually drink caffeine, so it just shows you how much caffeine is in a pill.
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Old 06-21-2008, 06:13 PM   #5
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I've always thought anyone could write several testimonials for the product they're trying to sell and just sign different names - especially on the internet where we're all anonymous, if we want to be. So I pretty much discount all testimonials. I also read an article written by some model who had put on a few pounds (like 15) and was in the process of losing it. She was approached by some diet pill company, to do before & after pics (for which she was paid). She said in prep for her "before" pic, she was told not to wear makeup, not do her hair and wear unflattering clothes - on top of that, when she was posing, she was told to stick her tummy out as far as possible, for the profile shot. For her "after" pic, they did professional hair & makeup & she was in a flattering, great looking outfit - holding her tummy in, too. And....she never used their diet aids, she lost the weight without their help. So it seems at least some of these companies hire models, etc. for their before and after shots.
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Old 07-28-2008, 12:43 AM   #6
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Oh, wow - photographing the after shot first? I'd think that would be illegal.

And now with photoshop, you only have to take one photo and a few minutes later have both a before and an after.

I found this YouTube video amusing - but I guess it could demonstrate how deceptive advertising could be done also:

edit - crud, it won't let me post a link, but I guess you can copy/paste this:

edit #2 - I guess just put the w-w-w in front of this:
youtube.com/watch?v=chd6FC6AAD8

edit #3 - actually this one is more weight-related photoshopping:
youtube.com/watch?v=pZ0adXaY_bs&feature=related

Last edited by Elizabeth Isabelle : 07-28-2008 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:35 PM   #7
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Something else that should always be considered, is OTHER things that are often done to make the "after" shot look better.

Do you ever notice that in the "before" picture, that the person often has pasty white skin...but in the "after" they have a nice, glowing tan???

Look at the hair, makeup, etc. as well. Often the person is made up to look nicer in the after.

There are also little tricks that they do to make the "before" look worse, and the "after" look better. They will often have the BEFORE shot taken with the person using VERY bad posture, and the AFTER shot is taken in a flattering pose, with tall, nice posture.

Look at the bikini photos! If the picture is taken in the same bikini, it will often be adjusted in a more flattering position for the after shot.
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:12 PM   #8
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It probably is illegal to switch the before and after shots, but how would law enforcement prove it? The model has been payed to keep his or her mouth shut (and won't get any more work, if they complain). And I wouldn't be surprised if the photographers use different cameras (possibly even using older film to shoot the fake "after" shot, so that if they were sued there would be no physical proof from the film, in the event they were they prosecuted. Or worse, the physical evidence would seem to substantiate their claim of the after shot being genuine).

Also, in order to prosecute they have to get proof of damages, and would need people to complain in order for law enforcement to be aware of the problem, and people would have to testify in order to prosecute. The problem is that people who have spent their money on these scams are often too embarassed to complain, and even more embarassed to testify, because they know they "should have known better."
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:32 PM   #9
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I have never believed the testimonials for all the reasons you all gave above.
I never believed the pictures because of air brushing and posing etc...You can make anyone look bad and anyone look good.
I always felt that if there was a miracle Drug to help lose weight it would not be over the counter it would be by prescription and cost a lot of money.
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:59 AM   #10
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the stories I am reading here are crazy
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:24 PM   #11
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um yikes!
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:01 PM   #12
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I just found the ultimate in ripped off before and after shots and couldn't believe it. It was one of those ads that reads your IP address so the person in the ad just happens to be from your town and it was all about Emily who lost weight drinking some magic tea except the pictures were of Michelle who won the Biggest Loser!! Stealing pics from sites like this I could see making believable ads but to do it of someone who pretty much anyone in the target audience of the ad would know is crazy
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:13 PM   #13
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Another good way to know if it is a good or bad product is to google the product with "users reviews" behind the name and you will find a LOT of info on it being a scam or the real deal.
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:02 PM   #14
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I've even seen ads on TV where it looked like they photoshopped a different head onto a different body.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:44 PM   #15
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They are never smiling in the before photo and are in the after.
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