Understand the wool
Understanding marketing tactics is a good way to learn how to be more skeptical about them. Knowledge can help you take off that wool you didn’t know had been pulled over your eyes, and see the truth behind the lies, and hopefully be able to make a better decision about where and how to spend your hard earned cash.
One tactic marketing teams use is to publish ‘white papers’. These don’t directly sell you products, but supposedly provide impartial facts and figures around an issue or problem and draw conclusions, all while subtly pointing you in the general direction of the type of product they are trying to sell.
An example might be if you search in google for “why do I have headaches nz” where the top search result is a snippet from Southern Cross Health Insurance, with a number of helpful causes of headaches. What are they trying to sell you? Insurance. Further down in the search results, a website from a well -known brand of head-ache pill, again with helpful information. What are they trying to sell you? Their pills. Are they the best pills out there? Could there be other reasons for your headaches? The best person to talk to is always going to be your GP, not someone trying to sell you something.
Along pseudoscience lines I found a white paper on homeopathy for dairy farming – the Homeopathic Handbook for Dairy Farming. A solution to the problem - how do I keep my herd healthy, but a solution that funnels consumers to a product that is pure pseudoscience, built on the idea that like cures like, that dilution makes a remedy more powerful.
What’s the harm in homeopathy being used on livestock? Just as it is in humans, delaying evidence-based treatments can prolong suffering and cause real harm. Some conditions will go away by themselves, but others need early intervention.