Power Balance Wristband Claims Not Backed by Science, Company Admits

<"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/consumer_news">Power Balance bracelets, touted by sports luminaries such as Shaquille O’Neal for how they improve strength and flexibility, have been exposed as being nothing more than a rubber bracelet, writes The Associated Press (AP).

According to Australian officials, Power Balance, which is located in California, should not be advertising the bracelets as being able to offer increased power, and other claims, said the AP. The firm agreed, saying, “We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims,” said Power Balance, quoted the AP. Power Balance has also agreed to refund its customers.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) prompted Power Balance to admit its claims are false and to offer refunds to customers who feel they have been cheated, said the Herald Sun. Known customers include Benji Marshall, Cristiano Ronaldo, Brendan Fevola, and Shaquille O’Neal, said the Herald Sun and Lamar Odom, David Beckham, Robert De Niro, Russell Crowe, and Gerard Butler, according to the AP.

In response to the global outcry, the company has issued statements that the AP notes swirl around the word “admit,” such as, “Power Balance Admits products have been worn during the last world series, NBA finals, and super bowl champions!”

Power Balance had previously made claims that the product improved balance, strength, and flexibility via its “holographic technology” that would disperse energy throughout the body, said the Herald Sun. Many agreed. “Our trainers swear by it,” Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley wrote on his Twitter page, quoted the AP.

The bracelets were introduced in 2007 and sell for $29.95 each, said the AP, which noted that Power Balance sold $8,000 its first year and believes that figure will exceed $35 million in for 2010.

Power Balance says it relies on testimonials, not science, according to spokesman Adam Selwyn, said the AP. Power Balance pays athletes to use their images wearing the bracelets, it said, wrote the AP. Josh Rodarmel, a Power Balance co-founder, said in a statement “We’re not trying to win over every person in the world,” quoted the AP.

“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 head Graeme Samuel said, quoted the Herald Sun.

On its web site, Power Balance runs a video footage of athletes who are showing the benefits of the bands by standing with their arms extended while resisting pressure both with and without the bands, said the AP.

A Wisconsin professor ran similar tests with 42 athletes wearing the Power Balance wristbands and silicon versions purchased at Wal-Mart; said the AP. The tests revealed no difference between the two products.

“I think it is a scam,” said John Porcari, professor of exercise and sport science at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. “It has absolutely nothing to do with the bracelets. It is all in people’s heads,” quoted the AP.

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