Monday, January 3, 2011

Power Balance Quietly Admits To Misleading Claims

power balance fraud

What’s the difference between a Power Balance bracelet, and a rubber band? Not much, according to the corrective notice published by Power Balance Australia.

I came across the court-enforced statement through a Facebook post by my high school teammate and fellow swim blogger, John Mullen, of SwimmingScience.net.

power balance bracelet

From powerbalance.com/australia/ca:

“In our advertising we stated that Power Balance wristbands improved your strength, balance and flexibility.

We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims and therefore we engaged in misleading conduct in breach of s52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

If you feel you have been misled by our promotions, we wish to unreservedly apologise and offer a full refund…”

The corrective notice is a result of an undertaking issued on December 22, 2010 by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which intervened in response to consumer complaints. The Power Balance bracelet has failed to produce scientifically-sound results, and appears to be no better than a placebo when tested by double-blind methods.

As a result, the company (in Australia only) is no longer allowed to use the term “Performance Technology” in its branding, and can no longer claim that their holograms are designed to work positively with your body’s natural energy field to improve balance, strength, and flexibility.

This is good news for Australian consumers, who are now entitled to a full refund of their magic rubber bands. However, the deceptive Power Balance bracelets are still being promoted in the United States.

This should be a lesson that extraordinary claims must be supported by extraordinary evidence. I’ve shared my skepticism of several other products over the years, including mouthpieces for swimmers, Kinesio tape, and unregulated dietary supplements. The burden of proof lies with the companies claiming that huge gains in performance result from using their products. Please convince me with well-designed double-blind studies, not celebrity endorsements.

Be sure to check out 5 Things To Do With Your Power Balance Bracelet Now That It

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2 Comments:

Sailfish Swim Club - Power Bands says:

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5 Things To Do With Your Power Balance Bracelet Now That It’s Worthless « Kast-A-Way Blog says:

[...] only work if you except them to have an effect. However, Power Balance Australia recently released a statement admitting that their bracelets do not improve strength, balance, and flexibility, and that they [...]

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