So, here is the dilemma – You have Dr. Oz, an extraordinarily charismatic public figure who has a platform and style that empowers his audience to think about health and wellness. But his choice of “remedies” and his gift of gab have led to the hijacking of his name and likeness by renegade marketers. But, renegade marketers wouldn’t give a hoot about Dr. Oz if he didn’t create sound bites which are a marketers dream.
Dr. Oz absolutely deserves to be able to control his image and brand. But what responsibility does he have in his selection of “remedies” and his use of rhetoric?
A Senate sub-committee took him to task for not being more conscious of his choice of subject and his choice of words.
As reported by CNN:
“The scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products you called ‘miracles,'” said McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat. She said she was discouraged by the “false hope” his rhetoric gives viewers and questioned his role, “intentional or not, in perpetuating these scams.”
“I don’t get why you need to say this stuff when you know it’s not true. When you have this amazing megaphone, why would you cheapen your show?… With power comes a great deal of responsibility.”
Oz told the committee that he does use “flowery language” to describe certain products on his show, but added he believes in them so much he has given them to his own family.
“My job, I feel, on the show is to be a cheerleader for the audience, and when they don’t think they have hope, when they don’t think they can make it happen, I want to look, and I do look everywhere, including in alternative healing traditions, for any evidence that might be supportive to them,” Oz told the panel.
He testified that he could not be held responsible for what certain companies say online about the products. He said he’s toned down some of his language and will publish a list of products he thinks really can help people lose weight.