Following the recent ACCC undertaking against Power Balance Australia Pty Ltd regarding their false and misleading claims about their product’s efficacy, I wrote the following to DMG Radio Australia, who advertise a similar product, Eken Power Bands, on the Melbourne airwaves on Classic Rock 91.5 FM.
As a regular listener to 91.5 Classic Rock, I have noted your station’s recent advertisements for the ‘Eken Power Band’ product, touted as performance enhancing by football personality Jason Akermanis.
Products such as these have been recently denounced as a sham by Choice Magazine, who awarded competitor ‘Power Balance’ with a Shonky Award, and the Therapeutic Goods Administration, who denounced claims by manufacturers as “false and misleading“, and in breach of the Therapeutic Goods advertising code. Some media coverage is here and more information here.
Of particular concern to your organisation however is the recent ruling by the ACCC, who issued an undertaking against the Power Balance Australia Pty Ltd about false and misleading claims.
Here is an extract from the ACCC website;
Power Balance Australia Pty Ltd (Power Balance) claimed that their wristbands and pendants improve balance, strength and flexibility and worked positively with the body’s natural engergy field. It also marketed its products with the slogan “Performance Technology”. These claims made by Power Balance were not supported by any credible scientific evidence and therefore Power Balance has admitted that it has engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in breach of s 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974. To address the ACCC’s concerns, Power Balance has undertaken that it will:
- not make any claims about its products that are not supported by a written report from an independent testing body that meets certain standards;
- offer a refund to consumers who feel they have been misled;
- publish corrective advertising to prevent consumers from being misled in the future;
- amend the Australian website to remove any misleading representations;
- remove the words ‘performance technology’ from the brand itself; and
- implement a compliance program.
Given the similarity between these Eken Power Bands and the Power Balance wristbands which are based upon the same fraudulent scientific and therapeutic claims, it is only a matter of time until these Eken bands face similar scrutiny, and thus your station’s good name would best be served by the discontinuation of your advertising for these products.
I sincerely hope your organisation reconsiders its role in lending legitimacy to these fraudulent products, and the snake-oil salespeople who promote them.