"Power Balance" Wristbands: Rubber Bands with a Big Marketing Budget

PowerBalance WristbandsPower Balance of Orange County, California makes rubber bracelets with a holographic inset that "are designed to work with your body's natural energy field" to increase strength, balance and flexibility. The bands sell on for anywhere from $4.25 to $30.00. The company has poured tens of millions of dollars into a marketing campaign that features sports heroes and athletes like Shaquille O'Neil promoting the product. But on December 22, 2010, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ruled that claims that the bracelets improve strength, balance and flexibility "were not supported by any credible scientific evidence," and made Power Balance admit that it engaged in "misleading and deceptive conduct in breach of 2.52 of the Trade Practices Act of 1974." The Commission told Power Balance to stop making bogus claims about the product, refund the purchase price of the wrist band to people who feel they were misled, publish a corrective advertisement to keep consumers from being misled in the future and remove the words "performance technology" from the brand. The Australian ruling isn't valid in other countries, however.


Taxpayers Subsidize Big Screen Movie Promos for Cigarettes, and More

Burlesque the movieSteven Antin's new movie, Burlesque (PG-13), features about twenty different brands of products, including gratuitous use of R.J. Reynolds' Camel cigarettes. Other films that have showcased cigarettes this year include the Disney film The Sorcerer's Apprentice (rated PG, which features Newport cigarettes), and For Colored Girls (rated R, by Lionsgate, which features Marlboros). States are now spending millions to subsidize the production of movies, meaning taxpayers are not only paying to help big companies advertise their products, but they are also helping pay to showcase smoking -- a harmful addiction that many states are simultaneously spending millions to reduce. California taxpayers shelled out $7.2 million to subsidize the movie Burlesque alone, which not only features gratuitous smoking, but also showcases a slew of other brands, including Famous Amos cookies (the character Jack holds a box over his genitals), Dos Equis beer, Michelob, Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs, Oreos, KitchenAid, Ultimat Vodka, Coldwell Banker, Chase Bank, Patron Tequila and many more.


Larry Kudlow Calls for Campaign Ad Funding Disclosure

Larry KudlowFormer Reagan Administration official, CNBC host and columnist Larry Kudlow, who writes for the National Review -- one of the oldest and most influential conservative publications in the country -- said October 6 that shadowy groups like the


Honda Buys the Rose Parade

New Honda Rose Parade LogoAfter 121 years as an independent event, the iconic New Year's Day Rose Parade has sold its naming rights to the American Honda Motor Company, the U.S.-based headquarters of the Japanese car manufacturer. The name of the 2012 event will be "The 122nd Rose Parade, Presented by Honda." Honda will get the lead float in the parade, and full usage rights for the Tournament of Roses.


Wow, Nice Tibias

XRayPinupGirlThe EIZO Company of Japan is a relatively obscure manufacturer of x-ray monitors and medical imaging displays, but thanks to the work of the Butter Advertising Agency in Berlin/Duesseldorf, Germany, the company is grabbing attention with a new promotional pinup calendar that shows everything -- and we mean everything. X-ray images of nude models posted on the Internet caused a viral storm of commenting and link-sharing.



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