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Ray Haining
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I am starting two threads on deceptive, false and misleading advertising in magic.

This thread will be about omissions in the description of the trick. The other thread will be about falsifications.

What tricks have you bought where something was left out of the description, something that had you known about it, you would not have bought that trick? Let's be specific.

Let me first state that I believe these omissions are for the most part deliberate.

I'll start off with a product I discussed on the "10 Tricks You Want to Throw out the Window" thread: Cap in Any Bottle by Porper & Biro.

The trick is plastic bottle cap in plastic bottle. You are led to believe that it works like a *o*d*n* coin. On the Porper site the ad talks about the *o*d*n* coin, how this product evolved from that.

What your not told is that once the cap is in the bottle, it won't come out. This changes the whole thing and makes it impractical for me.

They're very flippant about it. In the instructions they say: "There are a number of ways to finish the routine, although we believe once you have put the cap in the bottle the trick is essentially over. You have done the impossible." Yeah, except at $79.95, I sure do want to make sure I get that cap back!

They then suggest that if you work behind a bar you just toss the bottle in the trash! Or you can cut the bottle open or use a t*p*t.

They could have used this as a selling point. ("You have to cut the bottle open to remove the cap!") The fact they didn't tells me they realized that knowledge of the cap's true workings would reduce sales.

This thread is not about whether or not a product will work for some performers. I'm sure there are magicians who use this.

It is about truth in advertising. Had I known that one little fact, I would have realized the trick was not for me and wouldn't have bought it.

Anybody else?
Bill Hegbli
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So what! Magic has been advertised this for centuries. No wax, thread, glue, etc. Not mention of the magnet used in the actual item. Get a life! Ever heard the saying "if the secret is told, the trick is sold!" If you really want to know about an item, go to the dealer offering and see the trick in person.
Jesse Feinberg
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Lame thread... Joe Porper rules, and I don't think anyone would disagree... enough already.
Jonathan Townsend
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Two interesting points.

Here are couple of replies

1) Cap in bottle, nice if you can give it away, otherwise... a routining challenge.

2) That which does not satisfy likely winds up discussed on the internt VERY fast. The faster the better.

I have heard nothing but good things about Joe Porper's mechanical items.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
magicinsight
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I do not think there was anything improper or misleading with Mr. Porper's effect, Cap in any Bottle. Besides, once the cap is in the bottle, the effect is finished. If you wanted to remove an item once it is inside the bottle, then do the standard coin in bottle. When I have done Mr. Power's VIP with a bottle cap, NO ONE has ever asked me if I could remove the cap. Thye take the bottle and examine the bottle and look dewildered. The same with Mr. Porper's Cap in any Bottle. In fact, NO ONE has ever asked me if thye could keep the bottle, whether I use VIP or Cap in Any Bottle. Let them look at the bottle all they want and then put it away and onto your next miracle.

Best regards,

Michael
“Belief matters more than truth. Every moment, belief in imaginary things alters lives while truth sits unnoticed and waits.”
—Hakim, Loreweaver
Ray Haining
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Wmhegbli, because things have been done for centuries, does not mean that things cannot or should not change. If that were the case, then we in America would all be English subjects and have to clear everything we write with the Royal authorities! Enough with that non-argument.

A response from Jesse Feinberg, Perfect! See thread "Ten Tricks You Want to Throw out the Window" for a discussion of his work.

Jonathan, routining challenge? I'm talking about an ad that leaves out one important piece of information that you should know. Then you don't have to purchase it to decide whether or not it is worth the challenge. And as far as Porper's work goes, you just heard a couple of not so good things.

magicinsight, I didn't say the trick wouldn't work. Nobody so far has asked you to see or keep the bottle, but that doesn't mean it won't happen tomorrow. I'm the type that just does not want to take chances like that.

And nobody has addressed my central complaint: that a key part of the effect was left out of the description, deliberately I believe, that had I known about it, I wouldn't have bought it.
Pete Biro
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DELIBERATELY NOT. You could call it an oversight, but one that frankly doesn't change the effect. You can put the cap into the bottle. Act is over. Take the money and run... Smile
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
johnnymystic
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There has been quite a few items I've purchased over the twenty year span of my magical career, hundreds of tricks and almost every single one of them had somewhat false descriptions in the advertising...damm, McDonalds does it every day...just look at a picture of a Big Mac...does the one you get really look like the picture? Do you complain to the manager, do you go to Mickey D's forums and rant?

Do you complain about everything in life...why not get up in arms over the price of gas...put your frustration to real use and maybe it can benefit all. This is just magic and some folk here seem to take it all too seriously

Get over it dude and really contribute to this forum instead of bitchen'

Stop whinning! Smile

johnny
I drink cheap tequila and vomit
<BR>I cannot eat hot wings...acid reflux
<BR>I never inhale Smile
<BR>I can put a field dress on a deer
magicinsight
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Quote:
On 2006-04-24 17:55, Ray Haining wrote:

magicinsight, I didn't say the trick wouldn't work. Nobody so far has asked you to see or keep the bottle, but that doesn't mean it won't happen tomorrow. I'm the type that just does not want to take chances like that.

And nobody has addressed my central complaint: that a key part of the effect was left out of the description, deliberately I believe, that had I known about it, I wouldn't have bought it.


If you perform a basic dime and penny effect or even a standard Scotch and Soda effect, a person may ask you if he/she could keep the dime or half dollar after the effect as a momento of your incredible performance. Why should you refuse that simple request from an admiring spectator? Afterall, it is only a dime and a half dollar, worth only ten cents andd fifty cents. Or perhaps after you perform a wonderous effect using an invisbile deck, a spectator may ask you if he/she can keep the deck and even pay you for this "regular" deck of cards that can be purchased at any drugstore. Will you therefore not perform these classic effects or just about most close-up effects ever or will ever be created out of a fear or anxiety that a spectator may in the future ask to keep the device that you have performed magic with?

You have to perform magic with guiltless conviction and with a sense of wonder and humor. If you perform magic with the mind set that it is really magic along with a casual, non-confrontational style, spectators will not challenge you or your magic. People want to be entertained and mystified, though not necessarily fooled. It is all about presentation and crowd control, which only comes with practice, experience and confidence. The "key part" of cap in any bottle or any effect is not the method. The method is only a means to accomplish the effect. Believe in what you do, and others will believe it too.

I sincerely believe that if you perform Cap in Any Bottle with conviction, without any guilt or fear that a spectator may someday ask to keep the bottle, no one will ever want to keep the bottle. If someone does someday ask if they can keep the bottle, there are numerous ways to prevent him/her from taking the bottle and simply to put it away in your close-up bag, etc. without letting on that there was a gimmick involved. But that ability to overcome a spectator's confrontation, intentional or unintentional, comes with confidence, experience and with a touch of humor.

Best regards,

Michael
The "key part"
“Belief matters more than truth. Every moment, belief in imaginary things alters lives while truth sits unnoticed and waits.”
—Hakim, Loreweaver
Ray Haining
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I'm talking about the advertising, friends, the advertising. If the cap cannot be moved from the bottle, then I should know about it before I buy it. That this fact is not included in the advertisement is deliberately misleading as far as I'm concerned.

To say, "That's the way things are, accept it," is a non-argument. If Biro and Porper were to add the information that you cannot remove the cap from the bottle to their advertisement and this information were to prevent some people from buying it mistakenly believing the cap can be removed from the bottle and this saves them money, then this is a good thing and an improvement over the situation before.

This one little change in their ad copy would right what I believe to be a wrong. Through little changes we make the world a better place to live in.
Mad Jake
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This pretty much actually started out in the thread http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=109

After Todd Dowell made a review of our RNT II Bowl, Pete jumped into the thread and stated why not seach in an antique store or thrift store and get one for less.
In my humble opinion it was inappropriate of Pete, and Pete appologized.

One thing I will never do is knock a manufacturer based on pricing, unless the equipment is so *** shoddy it deserves a public warning.

Why would I not buy a cocktail shaker for 700.00 from Pete and Joe? The price? No it's because I WOULD NOT USE IT. Would I spend 900.00 on a set of Porper cups? YES, why? BECAUSE I USE THEM and I know Joe's work and Pete's routine. But I would never come into one of their reviews and plug my product or a cheaper way to do, it opens up too many doors and I think we see the doors that are opening here.

People have no idea the time and money that goes into the development of a product if they are not a manufacturer, Joe, Pete and I do. My lord tooling alone is 80% of your product cost. Joe uses a lot of CNC for his work, I know what those Diamond Carbide bits cost to cut cups and other metals, and I know how short the life is on them. One member here had the stones to write me "If it costs you so much, don't make it." My reply was "if you can't afford it, tough." This users attitude was I can't afford it so no one else should have it.

Neither Pete, Joe or myself twists anyones arm to buy our products, we both have our customer database and some who frequent both our products. I have plugged many favorable remarks about Joes pieces, especially Just In Case, after 100's of uses it has still NOT Once failed me.

I have to agree on advertising, but what is hard to control is our vendors, that is why we are very picky who sells our products, we narrowed our vendors down to Steven's Magic and The Trickery. They follow advertising guidelines, we don't allow comparison to other peoples products, we had one vendor compare our pieces to Jim Riser's saying ours was better, well he's no longer a vendor for us to say the least. When you have a vendor that will say anything to move a product it will eventually come back to bite them in the long run.

Like Bill Palmer said in one post, develope a relationship with your retailer, go over an ad and ask them about each and every strong point that is listed. A professional shop will understand your concerns and take the time to help you and answer honostly.

I've always been a Porper/Biro fan, will continue to buy, collect and use their products, why? Because you indeed get first class pieces, workmanship and routines. Will I knock their prices publically? NO NEVER it's unprofessional and quite frankly childish. RNT II as a company will also never invade a thread pointing people in other directions away from a manufacturers product, it's not good business for another manufacturer to conduct themselves in that manner in the forums.

Just my 2 cents for what it's worth.

Jake
For quality Paul Fox Cups spun on Danny Dew's Paul Fox tooling visit us at www.airshipmagic.com
Platt
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Clearly the inventors of this effect know and knew very well that not being able to easily retrieve the cap is not a good thing. And they did not labor over this for as long as they claimed to and then accidentally forget to include that "small" detail in their instructions.

Now Ray, I'm not sure how long you've been doing magic, but you've got to assume if something is not mentioned, there's a very good reason for that. If you could easily and openly remove the cap from the bottle, of course they would have mentioned it. That's an effect in itself. They probably would have mentioned it with big bright all cap futura condensed extra bold letters. Maybe even a few exclamation points. Possibly a neon sign.

If it were examinable they would have mentioned that too. If a levitation effect says no wires it uses strings. If a T&R card effect doesn't mention a signature it can't be signed. In magic it's not what is said. It's what's not said. Always look for what they're leaving out. It's part of the game. I should know, I write advertising for a living. But in the world of magic, you should know too.
Sugar Rush is here! Freakishly visual magic. http://www.plattmagic.com
Ray Haining
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Platt, interesting. I guess we should look at magic advertisements from an advertisement point of view, as informed consumers, that the omissions tell the story.

I don't think that's common knowledge, and I tend to be one of those people sales people love (just ask my wife about my last car-buying adventure). I tend to be an idealist, too, somebody who wants to live in a perfect world.

I do think the magic world is replete with dishonest advertising (there is such a thing, is there not?). I should apply the "what is missing" criterion to product advertising.
Pete Biro
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I really think by implication you are calling me dishonest. Believe me this is far from reality... I have gotten in trouble many times by my employers for being too honest.

I have a question for you, Ray. How many times have you performed these two effects you got from Joe Porper? And how did the audience reactions go?
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
magicdave777
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Ommissions are part of advertising. Many times you will hear the truth, but not the whole truth.
Mad Jake
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A big industry that was hit with a lot of accusations of false advertising was the Software industry and it still goes on to this very day. Software companies lay claims that software can do this and do that, that is why Demoware is popular. While tasks could be performed by professionals or the software designers, the end user typically could not accomplish these tasks as easily.

I think magic suffers the same blow here. However the magic industry can not very well be offering Demoware to the public. What can be accomplished easily by the designer or creator, may take some practice by the end user. There is only so much you can reveal in advertising without giving the secret away, while some may see this as an Ommission, it may be necessary to do so to protect the secret.

I understand what Ray is trying to say though and strongly support him on blatant mistruths of a particular effect and there are plenty out there. However we as performers and consumers have to take into account just the amount of information that a company can give us without exposure, the reputation of the dealer (this is a big factor) as a lot of vendors will embelish ads once they recieve the product and by the time the creator reviews the ad the vendor has put up, it's too late and damage is done.

Generally too, if you write a developer/creator and say "hey I bought this and it's not doing what you said it will do in the ad." 99.99% of the time, and I know Pete and Joe both do this, they'll take the time to help you through it or explain what needs to be done.

Jake
For quality Paul Fox Cups spun on Danny Dew's Paul Fox tooling visit us at www.airshipmagic.com
Pete Biro
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Right, Jake. And "as you know" if there is a fault, or flaw, we are more than happy to replace it. A flaw was discovered in the first run of the Just IN Case trick and we IMMEDIATELY, no questions asked, replaced those units.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Mad Jake
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There were also some issues with a minute amount of the Poker Chip Suprise, and again these were immediately replaced. I know Pete and I agree on one thing and that is customer service and standing behind everything that we manufacture. About 2 years ago I purchased a Porper piece and I really don't want to say which one, but I was not actually happy with the way it handled. It worked just the way the ad said it would, but I just wasn't comfortable with the handling. When I called Joe and explained it to him, he had only one thing to say "Send it back and we'll refund or give you a credit, your choice."

It all boils down to how your present yourself and the intrigity of the people you are dealing with.

I called 5 retailers today, and asked them the following..." If I purchase an effect and it does not actually do something that the ad says it will do would you accept a return?" The answer was "YES" for 5 out of 5. This is rather refreshing as this now says the retailer is willing to stand behind the product and it's advertised use.

This thread has generated some interesting research ideas for me and while some see these threads as unproductive it has created some interesting and valuable research stats for us here to use. Not only is it important to always keep your quality standards up, but even more so with your customer service and relationship skills.

Jake
For quality Paul Fox Cups spun on Danny Dew's Paul Fox tooling visit us at www.airshipmagic.com
Howard Coberly
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(quote)"So what! Magic has been advertised this for centuries. No wax, thread, glue, etc. Not mention of the magnet used in the actual item. Get a life! Ever heard the saying "if the secret is told, the trick is sold!" If you really want to know about an item, go to the dealer offering and see the trick in person. " wmhegbli


This is the type of response/thinking/attitude that keeps these deceptive practices going...as it always has. I'm sure magicians in the old days had their drawers in which they kept the crap that they had purchased based on deceptive trick descriptions just as we do today. The fact that they were not as vocal about it does not mean, in my opinion, that they just "accepted" that this is how the magic world turns as so many manufacturers and dealers want us to do today.
It simply means that the mechanisms to get their messages out didn't exist. In those days, if you got ripped off, all you could do was tell your close friends and the magicians at the clubs about it and throw the item in a drawer and that was that. Welcome to the 21st century!! The internet now allows us to vent our frustration about these deceptive practices over forums like this and, hopefully, hurt the sales of these deceptive sellers.


I am currently putting together a list of tricks that I feel to have blatant lies in their descriptions. As soon as I'm sure that I won't be sued for doing so, I will post the list. Right now it is pretty long.

Do I have a personal vendetta against these sellers? No. We are now paying over 3.00 per gallon for gas. We are watching our money closer than we ever have in other aspects of our lives and magic should be no different.

There is an item on the market right now which is the lates addition to my list. The description says that a spectator selects from a number of different items on a table and the magician then shows a piece of paper on which he previously wrote which item the spectator chose. Okay...sounds interesting so far. The ad further states that the prediction has been in "clear view of the audience at all times".

Here is where my spider senses began tingling and I was right. The prediction itself is not in clear view...it is actually inside a wallet which is in clear view. Rationalize this all you want...it's a lie. If this bit of information were in the description, I would pretty much bet that the sales would not be as good. I can also pretty much bet that a million of these items are going to show up on the forum's sale section over the next few months.

Wake up guys! Stop whining about the absurd notion that it is immoral to re-sell items and start complaining about the immorality of lying to sell a product.

Dishonest magician/sellers have hidden behind this asinine notion for far too long. When you buy an item and find out that you were lied to in the advertising...post it!

Howie stop now....Howie hungy
"Our town used to be more fortunate...not a single winter passed without the visit of some star.
There used to be famous actors and singers, while today, God only knows! Nobody visits except magicians and organ-grinders. No esthetic satisfaction."
magicelam
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Isn't the effect called (and maybe this was stated above) "Cap in any Bottle"???

Why, Ray, would you think it would do anything else? The title alone advertises EXACTLY what it does... it's not "Cap in and out of any bottle" or "The folding cap"...

I don't think I'd have paid $70 for it... but for anyone it's working for, I'm sure it's well worth the money...
Mike
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