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ASA complaint — Power Balance® Bracelets

Wilds Sports, my favourite sports shop in Winchester, have a display of Power Balance bracelets by the till.  These are slim plastic bracelets, like a wrist band but with a jazzy looking hologram-type image on them and they’re priced at £29.99. The advertising leaflet on the display proudly claims “Power Balance holograms are embedded with frequencies that react positively with your body’s natural energy field to improve balance, strength, and flexibility.” I’m afraid I was hardly able to contain my incredulity and was eventually led from the shop by my family with steam coming out of my ears!

The Power Balance packaging and the leaflet show pictures of accomplished sports men and women and makes claims that wearing the bracelet will improve balance, flexibility and provide renewed strength and stamina.  In response to my disbelief the shop assistant said yes, they did actually sell a lot of the bracelets because when you look closely at famous and successful sports men and women they appear to be wearing them, particularly Formula 1 racing drivers, apparently.

Take a look at the Power Balance websites here to read some of the claims and you can watch the endorsement by F1 driver Barrichello here

Obviously it’s a blatant scam and pseudoscience of the highest order designed to relieve people of their money and because I’d found it on my own doorstep it moved me to make my first ever complaint to Advertising Standards.  Simon Perry from Leicester Skeptics, who spoke to Winchester Skeptics in the Pub in May, has on his website a Step-by Step guide to making an ASA complaint so I followed his template and complained about the marketing leaflet.   I’ll keep you posted with how it goes…

9 comments to ASA complaint — Power Balance® Bracelets

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