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ICPEN Europe Fights Commercial Clairvoyants

21. December 2004

ICPEN Europe has now started a joint action against the activities of Maria Duval and all connected products and request the responsible companies in 9 countries to stop the misleading advertising immediately. Consumer agencies will also attempt to stop the violations through others who materially contribute to the marketing.

The European partners within the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN) have started a joint action against misleading advertising of Maria Duval and similar products.

ICPEN Europe has now started a joint action against the activities of Maria Duval and all connected products and request the responsible companies in 9 countries to stop the misleading advertising immediately. Consumer agencies will also attempt to stop the violations through others who materially contribute to the marketing.

The International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN) Europe unites enforcement bodies from sixteen countries in Europe, mostly state agencies. Its purpose is to achieve more effective enforcement of consumer legislation and to respond to consumer problems especially in cross-border matters.

These agencies and organisations have received and are receiving lots of complaints regarding the activities of commercial clairvoyants operating under such promising name as Maria Duval and Marie France. These probably fictitious names raise false hopes of misfortunate and wretched individuals. Complaints have come from consumers all over Europe for a number of years.

It starts normally with the free gift of a talisman. In an equally unsolicited second mailing the addressee is informed that this talisman will unfold its full magic power only if certain other products are purchased. The letters are held very personal in style and layout. They are designed to convey a feeling of being preselected by chance.

It stands clear that these activities are misleading and violate marketing legislation all over Europe. It entails breaches of marketing legislation relating to accepting payments for goods without supplying the product in a reasonable time and making false representations in relation to the availability of refunds. Since the activities play on superstition and is threatening and intrusive they also entail breaches of article 4 in the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)`s code of advertising practice. 

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