Thursday, April 14, 2011

Did Someone Let The Magic Out Of Their Rubber Bracelets?

The Power Balance woo-meisters are chastened and unrepentant...

Seems there are folks willing to call them on their BS, first in Australia, now here in the States.  Reality marches on.  I wonder how long the profits will continue to roll in.


Agreement Provides for Full Refunds

LAGUNA NIGUEL, (March 28, 2011) — Power Balance LLC (“Power Balance”) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to resolve a recent advertising-related class action lawsuit, Batungbacal v. Power Balance LLC et al., which was filed in a federal district court in California on January 4, 2011. Under the terms of the agreement, Power Balance will provide full refunds, plus an amount for shipping and handling, to dissatisfied customers who join the class. Power Balance will also make select changes to product claims and the ways in which it advertises and markets its products in order to better define the scope of its marketing claims. The agreement makes clear that there is no acknowledgement, admission, liability, wrongdoing, noncompliance or violation on the part of Power Balance. Importantly, Power Balance expects a series of related lawsuits to be resolved as a result of this settlement.

“We are pleased to resolve these matters, which will enable Power Balance to get back to the business of building a brand and further developing our Performance Technology™,” said Nina Freeland-Ringel, general counsel for Power Balance. “As with many early technologies, especially one involving Eastern origins, we recognize the potential for confusion in the marketplace, and concede we got ahead of ourselves with claims about our first product. While we have yet to fully document its benefits, we are wholly committed to the continued development of Power Balance products in association with athletes around the world."

Power Balance and counsel for the plaintiff in Batungbacal on Friday filed papers requesting the Court’s preliminary approval of the settlement. This case and related lawsuits stem from a similar matter involving Power Balance’s Australian distributor and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which was resolved in December 2010.

Dr. Steve Novella, M.D., has a very nice write-up at Neurologica.  If you still need a magic rubber bracelet be sure to buy an accurately labeled Placebo Band from SkepticBros.

1 comment:

  1. In the January post related to the issue of the rubber bands, you asked rhetorically if Americans are lacking in knowledge of basic science and critical thinking while too impressed by celebrity endorsements.

    Yes, they are:

    Basic science: It is taught poorly. I am sorry to make this statement because you are probably a science teacher. I liked science as a kid, but how it was taught in secondary school turned me away from it. For instance, the slogan “Better living through chemistry” is not only an old advertising jingle (Monsanto, right?) but a fundamental reality of modern life. Yet, in a chemistry class, the last thing anyone teaching it seems to think important is that chemistry is a part of our lives. An excitement about it is killed by teachers angry that the students do not appreciate the dull lectures.

    Critical thinking: Having taught informal logic to freshmen, I can say it takes more than one or two semesters of core curriculum to undo a lifetime of intellectual slovenliness. Consider also most freshmen are too worried about getting drunk or laid to participate in the rehabilitation of their rational faculties.

    Celebrity endorsements: It is yet another example of the cynicism that passes for a “smart move” in our time. Celebrities who do these things deserve nothing but the harshest blame for promoting stupidity.