8 Ways Companies Use Pseudoscience To Sell You Stuff

"This product doesn't actually do anything, but you don't know that"

science lab

Once you start noticing the sheer levels of pseudoscientific woo leaping from our TV screens and magazine pages, you can't unsee it. It's everywhere, it's inescapable.

The thing is, science is boring, but it can also make you sound clever, so companies need to find ways to make you think they're being clever without sending you to sleep.

Enter, pseudoscience - science's younger, kookier cousin who spent a summer in Laos and still thinks anklets are pretty edgy.

The other good thing about pseudoscience is that you can make all kinds of fantastic, impressive-sounding claims without actually having to go to the trouble of backing them up. You can throw around words like "clinically proven", "Gut-friendly bacteria" and "78% more radiant" with a careless abandon and just start raking in the benjamins.

This is lucky, considering most of the products you see advertised in this way are as effective as an ashtray on a motorbike. If companies had to be truthful, most of their ads would consist of, "Here, smear this polymer on your face and drink this sugar water to make yourself feel better about your march towards the grave."

It's not exactly news that advertisement is an exercise in manipulation, but when they get our beloved science involved, things get ugly.

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Writer. Raconteur. Gardeners' World Enthusiast.