Power Balance exposed
A bracelet which made false claims about being able to improve balance has been forced to offer refunds to customers.
Misleading advertising claims about the alleged benefits of Power Balance wristbands and pendants have been withdrawn by the manufacturer after Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) intervention.
Power Balance has agreed not to supply any more products that are misleadingly labelled and refunds have been offered for those who previously purchase the product.
The bracelet, complete with a hologram with a built-in 7.83mhz frequency, was marketed as a way to improve balance, strength and flexibility.
However sceptics have consistently argued how a frequency can be built into the hologram and how even that would have an effect on the body.
Watch Richard Saunders from the Australian Skeptics debunk the claims of Power Balance on Today Tonight here: News Video - Yahoo!7 News
The ACCC raised concerns that these claims were likely to mislead consumers into believing that Power Balance products have benefits that they do not have.
ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said there is no supportive scientific evidence.
"Consumers should be wary of other similar products on the market that make unsubstantiated claims," he said.
"They may be no more beneficial than a rubber band."
Power Balance has admitted there is no credible scientific basis for the claims and therefore no reasonable grounds for making representations about the benefits of the product.
The company also acknowledged its conduct may have contravened the misleading and deceptive conduct section of the Trade Practices Act (1974).
The wristbands were widely promoted in the media by various sporting celebrities.
"When a product is heavily promoted, sold at major sporting stores, and worn by celebrities, consumers tend to give a certain legitimacy to the product and the representations being made," Mr Samuel said.
"Retailers that continue to sell the product with misleading representations on the packaging are warned that they may be open to action from the ACCC."
The bands are worn by various celebrities such as AFL player Brendan Fevola, NRL star Benji Marshall, basketballer Shaquille O'Neal and England cricket captain Andrew Strauss.
Power Balance will now make various changes to the way it markets its "rubber band" by publishing corrective advertising, amending its website and changing its packaging.
Power Balance exposed - The West Australian