I don’t think this would surprise anyone, but PowerBalance—manufacturers of plastic wristbands with hologram stickers on it—have admitted there is “no credible scientific evidence that supports [their]claims and therefore [they]engaged in misleading conduct.” Here’s their statement:
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.
To obtain a refund please visit our website www.powerbalance.com.au or contact us toll-free on 1800 733 436
This offer will be available until 30th June 2011. To be eligible for a refund, together with return postage, you will need to return a genuine Power Balance product along with proof of purchase (including credit card records, store barcodes and receipts) from an authorised reseller in Australia.
This Corrective Notice has been paid for by Power Balance Australia Pty Ltd and placed pursuant to an undertaking to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission given under section 87B of the Trade Practices Act, 1974.
They had to publish that in Australian media. The company has been under attack by consumer associations all over Europe because of their claims and scientific mumbojumbo, but this seems to be the first time in which a regulatory authority have made them admit that their claims are a fraud.
These PowerBalance wristbands remind me of the old magnetic wristbands my grandma used to wear in the 80s. They were able to cure anything, from rheumatism to diabetes, and they made people feel better because the metal vibrated in the same frequency as the planet does, whatever that means. Of course, these pseudo-scientific amulets have been made and distributed since the beginning of time, from “magic” stones to sanctified pendants made of holy chicken bones. These are just fancier versions of those, used by a new generation of gullible people.
Personally, I will stick to my holy chicken bones to keep my strength, balance and flexibility at its good old low levels.