Cliffside Malibu “We Guarantee It”
In this commercial for Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center (not to be confused with Passages Malibu) we are told that the treatment from Cliffside is so good, they guarantee it. There are at least 2 versions of this commercial. This particular TV spot has been airing since at least August 2013.
What this commercial says:
(Announcer): 83% of addicts who go through treatment relapse within a year. At Cliffside Malibu our treatment program is so successful we guarantee it. Our success rate is among the highest in the country. Learn how we overcome addiction. Call 888-CLIFFSIDE now.
Our private, one on one approach is holistic, research based, and effective. At Cliffside Malibu you should only have to do this once. Call 888 CLIFFSIDE now.
Our analysis of wording used:
- What the announcer said: 83% of addicts who go through treatment relapse within a year.
- What people might think this means: Treatment does not work for most addicts
- What it actually means: This statement is clear with little room for deception even though the commercial does not cite it’s source for it’s data. Although based on data from the drugabuse.gov / NIH website, the relapse rate is slightly lower, it is still very high.
- What the commercial says: At Cliffside Malibu our treatment program is so successful we guarantee it
- What someone watching the commercial might think this means: I can go to Cliffside Malibu and if don’t complete the recovery course or if I relapse, I don’t have to pay any money / I can go through the entire treatment again for free
- Analysis of what it really means: In the TV version of this ad, when the man says “we guarantee it”, we see the words “WE GUARANTEE IT” in large letters on the screen but below those words, in very tiny, very difficult to read fine print are the words “Visit cliffsidemalibu.com for details on our guarantee”.
Cliffside Malibu’s Guarantee:
This is the wording of Cliffside’s 333-word guarantee:
Cliffside Malibu has 3 levels of care: Primary Care (includes detox if needed), Extended Care, and Continuing Care. Each level of care is a minimum of 30 days in length and may be at different cost structures depending upon the client’s needs, desires, and availability. At Cliffside Malibu, we offer a guarantee that if the client completes all 3 levels of care at our facility and follows our aftercare recommendations, but has a relapse prior to obtaining one full year of sobriety, then Cliffside Malibu will take the client back into our 30 day Primary Care program free of charge. This is our way of matching the client’s commitment to help them completely recover, thrive, and ultimately be the best person they were always meant to be.
However, as always the client will be responsible for paying both the medical doctor and/or psychiatrist at their normal rates of $1500 each, plus any and all detox medication and/or prescription medication needed while at Cliffside Malibu. These payments are to be made directly to the corresponding doctor(s) and pharmacy.
In order to transition from one level of care to another a client must reach treatment goals and objectives outlined by their primary care therapist. Because everyone is different and comes in to treatment at a different stage of change, in some, in fact a majority of instances all 3 levels of care can require more than a total of 90 days to successfully complete their treatment and graduate from the Cliffside Malibu program securing a certificate of graduation. Anyone with a certificate of graduation completing all 3 levels of care, signed by the CEO, automatically obtains our guarantee.
Cliffside Malibu is deeply dedicated to the complete recovery of our clientele, and because the evidence shows that long term treatment is far and away more successful than short term care we wanted to provide this guarantee so that any potential client might feel supported in making the right choice for his or her care.
What the guarantee means:
- You must complete 3 levels of care, for a total of at least 90 days. The majority of the time, it is longer than 90 days
- You must follow the aftercare recommendations. We must assume, but cannot confirm, that part of these recommendations are “do not take drugs” or “do not drink alcohol”. We question if relapsing (taking drugs or alcohol) makes you ineligible for the guarantee based on this.
- If you relapse before being sober for one year, you will only be able to re-take the first, 30 day Primary Care portion of the program. You do not get any money back and you do not re-take the entire program.
- Even if taken back to the 30 day portion of the program as part of the guarantee, you must pay the medical and psychiatric fees of $3,000.
- Even if taken back to the 30 day portion of the program as part of the guarantee, you must pay for any medication
This commercial contains little deceptive wording however some people may feel that the use of the word “guaranteed” without also disclosing the full terms of the guarantee in the commercial is a deceptive practice.