Was just in a sports shop about 10 minutes ago … and guess what? There sitting next to the till, was a rack full of Power bands. Yes indeed, a piece of plastic with a hologram on it can be yours for just £30
This will apparently make your sports performance magically improve. Well, OK, its not quite that blatant, they wrap it up in a fancy box plastered with meaningless techno-babble, which boils down to a claim that it will magically improve your performance.
If this was really true, then everybody should wear one to improve their performance when, driving, flying, working etc… it would transform the world, but of course its complete bollocks.
Now, what is truly interesting is that there has been lots of bad press about this. for example, the BBC story here. In fact even the Power balance folks themselves have been forced to retract their silly claims, see their press release here, that reads …
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.
Yet, even with all this knowledge in the public domain, I was surprised to learn that the sports shop has been selling lots of these. The assistant behind the till was (quite rightly) skeptical, yet observed that if that’s what folks wish to buy, then best of luck to them. I can only conclude that it must be some form of tax for stupidity.
If you truly are a believer in this plastic magical god, then you might like to check out all the details gathered by the Australian Skeptics here, but perhaps you might prefer to simply watch the video below where Richard Saunders from the Australian Skeptics Society puts their ‘performance tests’ to the test and shows how the supposed improvement in performance was actually down to the power of suggestion.