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Power Band

ACCC exposes Power Balance band

as a sham

The Power Balance wristband.

The Power Balance wristband.
BY SAM HALL AND AAP
24 Dec, 2010 04:00 AM
Illawarra consumers have expressed their frustration after a controversial wristband claiming to improve balance, flexibility and strength was exposed as a sham by the consumer watchdog.The popular Power Balance bands, worn by some of the country’s most elite sports stars, have been exposed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as being no more beneficial than wearing a rubber band.Dragana Uzelac laments her $65 purchase of a Power Balance wristband, saying she felt no effect from wearing the product which the ACCC has concluded makes unsubstantiated claims on its packaging. Picture: DAVE TEASE

Dragana Uzelac laments her $65 purchase of a Power Balance wristband, saying she felt no effect from wearing the product which the ACCC has concluded makes unsubstantiated claims on its packaging. Picture: DAVE TEASE

The bands have adorned the wrists of some of the country’s biggest sporting names, with Dragons’ players Matt Cooper, Jamie Soward and Darius Boyd among those who wear them.

The company behind the devices was a prominent sponsor of the recent NSW PGA Championship in Wollongong.

ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said Power Balance Australia could not provide scientific evidence to back up the claim.

“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,” he said.

“Suppliers of these types of products must ensure that they are not claiming supposed benefits when there is no supportive scientific evidence.”

Power Balance bands originated in the United States and have since been taken up by NRL stars, the AFL’s Brendan Fevola, jockey Damien Oliver and dual world surfing champion Mick Fanning.

Wollongong Hawks players have also been seen using the bands, which claim to work with the body’s energy flow.

Hawks coach Gordie McLeod said the ACCC’s verdict only confirmed the beliefs of some of his star players: the bands did little to help their performance.

“If the guys feel they’re getting something out of it, that’s a bonus – whether it’s scientifically proven or not,” he said.

“Some of the players have said from the start that they didn’t notice a difference.

“I personally can’t see any great advantages in wearing them.”

The ACCC’s crushing judgment frustrated Wollongong shopper Dragana Uzelac, who paid $65 for the device six weeks ago.

“I originally bought the band because it was supposed to balance me out and I was supposed to feel stronger … I don’t think it makes you feel any different at all,” she said.

“I think it’s all in the mind – I’ve basically just spent $65 for nothing.”

Ms Uzelac said authorities could have more closely inspected the bands before they were released in Australia.

“How can they sell products like that when they don’t work? I’m going to try and get a refund,” she said.

Yesterday afternoon, Wollongong’s Rebel Sports store was still selling the bands for $59.99.

Mr Samuel warned retailers could face legal action if they continued to sell bands in the existing misleading packaging.

Power Balance has promised to remove the offending words from packaging and the band itself, and to publish “corrective advertising” to prevent more customers being conned. Those seeking a refund have been advised to contact Power Balance.

http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/news/local/news/general/accc-exposes-power-balance-band-as-a-sham/2033555.aspx?storypage=0

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