The Australian Competition and Consumer Commissions (ACCC) has slammed sports technology company, Power Balance Australia, over its wristbands that claim to provide wearers with improved performance.
All users who purchased the wristbands can now get a refund if they feel they’ve been misled.
According to a statement from the ACCC, misleading advertising claims have been withdrawn by the vendor after the regulatory body’s intervention. The bands supposedly provided better balance, strength and flexibility by working with the body’s “natural energy field”.
The company hired celebrities and sports stars to use and promote the device in sporting stores and over the Internet.
“Power Balance has admitted that there is no credible scientific basis for the claims and therefore no reasonable grounds for making representations about the benefits of the product,” it said in the statement. “Its conduct may have contravened the misleading and deceptive conduction section of the Trade Practices Act 1974.”
The vendor has given the ACCC court-enforceable that any claims made in advertisements will be tested by court-enforceable undertakings from independent testing bodies using double-blind tests.
Corrective advertising will now be published and the words “performance technology” will now be removed from the wristband.
“Consumers should be wary of other similar products on the market that make unsubstantiated claims, when they may be no more beneficial than a rubber band,” ACCC chairman, Graeme Samuel, said.
The moves came after the ACCC approached Power Balance about the issue. It was not broached in court.