Advertising Standards Authority hands Biomag their arses

The Biomag people are so convinced that sleeping on a magnetic surface has proven health benefits that they freely advertise these.  But medical claims require rigorous proof, and even though it is well marketed and probably a nice sleep, the ASA isn’t buying their bullshit

The Complaints Board then turned to consider the claim in the FAQ section of the website that said: “Your BioMag mattress pad will not only ease your pain, but an increased production of melatonin will help you get a deeper, restorative sleep.”

Looking at the substantiation provided by the Advertiser, the Complaints Board noted that while there was some evidence to support the role of magnetic energy and the production of melatonin, those studies were clear that this link was yet to be verified, however, in the Complaints Board’s view the evidence that did exist could not be extrapolated to support claims about the influence of the BioMag on melatonin.

Given the high standards of social responsibility required for therapeutic claims the Complaints Board said the evidence supplied by the Advertiser was not of sufficient rigour to substantiate the claims on the website. Therefore, the Complaints Board ruled that, the website advertisement was in breach of Principles 2 and 3 of the Therapeutic Products Advertising Code.

Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled to Uphold the complaint.

Good on them too.

Just because Biomag are the upmarket version of snakeoil medical cures doesn’t mean they should be allowed to get away with unproven claims.

Here’s a reminder of similar products in that category that had to bite the dust

PowerBalance Admits Their Wristbands Are a Scam

I don’t think this would surprise anyone, but PowerBalance—manufacturers of plastic wristbands with hologram stickers on it—have admitted that there’s “no credible scientific evidence that supports [their] claims and therefore [they] engaged in misleading conduct.” Here’s their statement:

In our advertising we stated that Power Balance wristbands improved your strength, balance and flexibility.

We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims and therefore we engaged in misleading conduct in breach of s52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

If you feel you have been misled by our promotions, we wish to unreservedly apologise and offer a full refund.

and here is another

Magnetic Healing: An Old Scam That Never Dies

Magnetic charms, bracelets, insoles, and braces remain popular and are sold with claims that they improve athletic performance, relieve arthritis pain, increase energy, and pretty much treat whatever symptoms you might have. These products may seem modern and high-tech, but similar devices and claims have been around for centuries.

Electromagnetism is the real energy of life, and therefore it is very plausible that all sorts of magnetic and electrical interventions will be useful for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. But this potential also opens up a market for countless quack magnetic devices that exploit this appeal. You can buy what are essentially refrigerator magnets to strap to your elbow or knee or put in your shoe or under your pillow. These static magnetic fields have no demonstrable effect on blood flow or living tissue, and their fields are so shallow that they barely extend beyond the cloth in which they are encased, let alone to any significant tissue depth. The scientific evidence for their efficacy is negative (Pittler et al. 2007). Even more absurd are magnetic bracelets that are supposed to have a remote healing effect on the body. Their plausibility plummets even further.

It is eternally frustrating that scientific evidence and academic acceptance of medical claims seem to have no bearing on the marketing and popular appeal of those claims. This disconnect appears to be especially true of claims for magnetic devices and treatments-and it has survived for centuries.

Doesn’t stop the Biomag people though.  They’re making good coin out of their false clinically unproven hopes:

Biomag offers unproven health benefits - ASA

Biomag offers unproven health benefits – ASA

 

This is how much Biomag believes in their own products.

from Biomag web site

from Biomag web site

There are no moving parts in a magnet.  Magnets do not need repair or maintenance.  Yet you only get 60 days to make a claim that the product is somehow not living up to the claims or is “faulty” in some way.

  • GazzW

    Is this the same Biomag that Deaker promotes with monotonous regularity each and every Sunday on ZB Sportstalk? If so it gives the very strong impression that at least half of the All Blacks owe their success to Biomag underlays and that Steve Price has supplied them to his entire extended family in Australia such are the product’s benefits.

    Some clarification is required.

    • Teletubby

      Yep and hopefully this decision will encourage Deaker to STFU about Biomag and spend some time covering sports for a change

  • David

    My wife bought one which I thought was an outrageous indulgence, all bollocks aside the thing is fantastic. After a hard days work with the usual aches and pains a night on the biomag and there all gone, helps with her monthly pains too apparently.
    Generally I view all claims on miracle health benefits as rubbish but the thing seems to work, not sure if its just the wool component that does it and NO I am a painter decorator not a biomag sales rep.

    • Orange

      Which would you rather sleep on? A bunch of magnets or a wool underlay. Answers itself really.

    • Cracker1963

      David, You sleep on a magnet EVERYNIGHT without the need to fork out an outrageous amount for a Biomag- its called the Earths Magnetic Field and its totally free!
      This is quackery at its worst.

    • Liberty

      “outrageous indulgence”

      It amazing how the consumer doesn’t look around. As there is number of wool underlay’s on the market at a more affordable price.
      If they are in to bogus remedies . Such as magnetism just turn the electric
      blanket on.

    • pukakidon

      There is a lot to be said for the placebo affect. Don’t tell your wife if she thinks it is making a difference that is a good thing,

  • tarkwin

    I’ve got one and I have to admit I do sleep better on it, Mind you that could be just psychological or advanced drunkenness.

  • JC

    There are dozens of theses gimmicks out there and thousands who swear by them; in other words the manufacturers don’t need to claim some sort of science to sell their products provided they get testimonials from their customers.. easy to do these days.

    I’d be just as interested in a product if the seller said something like “We don’t quite know why this works so well but 10,000 people have bought it and the feedback is 90% positive to glowing praise!”

    We all pretty much understand that the mind, aided by a gizmo can make us feel better and we don’t care about that.. just that we feel better.

    But count me out if the gizmo is a pill produced by 100 year old monks in Tibet.

    JC

  • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

    Do you think Murray Deaker believes in this shit also? Haha, it’s funny to consider him being a superstitious old woman who keeps crystals under his pillow and chants Hare Krishna mantras before taking his pendulum down to the organic food store.

  • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

    There’s a show called Bullshit by Penn and Teller and one of the episodes discusses the magnetic theories of these people. It is completely crazy.

  • kehua

    Can`t beat a copper bracelet if you suffer `tennis elbow` or wrist pain.

    • Patrick

      I find a box of Lion Red has similar restorative powers actually

  • Patrick

    More voodoo science being used to fleece the punters, just like climate change those promoting it should be asked to come clean on their motivations – Deaker & co take a look in the mirror.
    I never had much joy with the wet & forget products either come to think of it Deaks….

  • Colin Price

    The great thing about Biomag is that you sleep on a sheepskin-like underlay…. but thats it. If magnets had any effect on people, we would explode when being x-rayed!!!

  • LesleyNZ

    A sleeping pill works the same. You can also get natural sleeping pills.

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