back to article Groupon banned from selling SNAKE OIL

Groupon has been rapped for selling snake oil after the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) ruled that the online deals giant couldn't substantiate their claims about the reptile juice. An advert for a deal on 'Wrinkle Killer Snake Serum' sent out in October last year by Groupon claimed that customers rubbing the reptile- …


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  1. Wang N Staines

    So how much were they fined?

    1. Magnus_Pym

      Perhaps they paid in coupons.

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      Nothing. They were told not to show that ad again, which of course they weren't planning to do anyway.

      1. HMB

        They were also told they were VERY naughty boys and girls. In a loud stern voice.

        1. jonathanb Silver badge

          Not this time. They get that if they do publish the same ad a second time.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      They still in business?

      Wow a world full of mugs.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      In the town where I live....

      "Get your feet nibbled by fish in a tank, 40% off"

      Someone forgot to tell them the shop closed down two weeks ago!

  2. Magnus_Pym

    "temporary effects"

    So "temporary effects" is a universal get-out clause for any and all claims in advertising. Well colour me cynical but I wondered why it had started to appear in cosmetic ad's recently.

    1. Tasogare

      It's kind of like ISPs and their "Up to speed X" clauses.

    2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Neat, because every cosmetic has only temporary effects

      because most people die well before the sun becomes a red giant.

  3. Anonymous Coward 15

    Literal snake oil?

    Christ, there's one born every minute.

    (Icon does not come close to describing the amount of facepalm.)

    1. Jedit

      But it MUST work!

      I mean, when was the last time you saw a wrinkly snake?

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      The original snake oil did work... was the ripoffs that didn't:

      "Of course, most 19th-century snake oil salesmen did not, in fact, sell this particular product. Even those hucksters who did sell actual snake oil would likely have sold the rattlesnake variety, nearly useless for any ache-relieving medicinal purpose. But the original Chinese purveyors of snake oil offered something that probably did exactly what they claimed it would do: help fellow workers relieve the pain of their labors."

      1. dogged

        I loved the comments.

        here's my favourite -

        "you so small so damn in chemistery, i'm torro j. , snake_oil production in indonesia. my product help so much people. "

        You so small so damn in chemistery.

  4. Anonymous Coward 101


    How can people wonder if it has a sustainable business model when it is running an offer for a product like this? It is but a tiny step away from penis enlargement pills and herbal Viagra.

    1. ItsNotMe

      "It is but a tiny step away from penis enlargement pills and herbal Viagra."

      You mean that these AREN'T going to work? Damn! Hope I can get a refund.

  5. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Today's Groupon Offer!!!

    53% off the number of snakes being slaughtered!!! Hurry, act now!!!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A sucker is born every .0000000000063829514286 seconds

    Like selling sand to Arabs...

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. M Gale

      You would think...

      ....that like trying to sell refrigeration devices to the Inuit, that might be a tricky sell.

      Analogy fail, you suck and all that. This is the Reg after all.

      1. tapanit

        I recall somebody *did* succeed in selling fridges to inuits long ago - to keep food from freezing... don't even need electricity! Nowadays they're of course likely to have electricity and use fridges to keep beer cold in summer, like everybody else.

  7. Chris007

    Anybody else noticed

    that the vast majority of Groupon deals are below the threshold for Credit Card protection...

    Just saying...

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