Woolrest Biomag has once again withdrawn claims that their products can relieve pain, following complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Woolrest Biomag has been claiming in advertisements since at least 1999 that their magnetic mattress underlays can relieve pain. In October 2013, an Advertising Standards Authority complaint against a Biomag radio advertisement (13/376) was upheld, because the claim the underlays provide “Drug Free Pain Relief” was found to be misleading.
Since then, Biomag has responded to 10 complaints lodged with the ASA by voluntarily withdrawing claims of pain relief. They stated that this was done as a matter of “showing our commitment to being a company acting with moral and social conscience, in keeping with the ASA recommendations”.
However, the packaging of Woolrest Biomag’s products still contains claims such as “For Drug-Free Pain Relief and the Best Night’s Sleep”. The ASA doesn’t have jurisdiction over product packaging, only advertisements.
The Society for Science Based Healthcare complained to the ASA about Biomag’s use of images of their packaging in online advertisements, including email and website advertisements in which the pain relief claims on their packaging are clearly visible, and about misleading claims on their website.
The ASA treated Biomag’s use of images of its product packaging in advertisements as a failure to comply with earlier rulings, and contacted Biomag to remind them of their compliance obligations. Specifically, that the misleading pain relief claims on Biomag’s packaging should not be displayed in advertisements.
Today, the decision to settle a complaint regarding misleading claims on Biomag’s website has been released by the ASA. In response to the complaints, Biomag removed claims such as:
“The original BioMag magnetic underlay offers you drug free pain relief”
“PetMag offers you a reasonably-priced, simple, and practical way to help give your pet natural relief from aches and pains.”
“the quilted magnetic pillow pad can help relieve aches and pains using magnetic therapy.”
“Magnetic therapy to ease your pain”
“drug free pain relief”
In response to the complaint, Biomag said:
“I trust our swift reaction in ensuring we are not misleading the consumer, that the ASA will look to the fact as a company we are always most concerned that we keep our good name to the fore from a credibility point of view”
The Society for Science Based Healthcare is glad that Biomag has withdrawn these misleading claims. It hopes that Biomag and their competitors will promptly remove the remainder of these claims from their promotional material, including their products’ packaging, and they they will not make these claims in the future unless they have evidence to back them up.
The Society has also submitted a complaint about misleading content on the website of one of Biomag’s competitors, Magne-Sleep, but the ASA has yet to rule on this complaint. Last year, the Society has a complaint upheld against Magne-Sleep for making misleading pain relief claims about their products in a newspaper advertisement (14/209).
Including the complaint released today, the 10 complaints from the Society over the past 2 years have all resulted in Biomag removing claims of pain relief from their advertisements.