The Commerce Commission has issued a warning to New Zealand business Baa Baa Beads over health claims they made about “amber teething necklaces”. The Society for Science Based Healthcare welcomes this decision.
The Society for Science Based Healthcare laid a complaint against Baa Baa Beads with the Advertising Standards Authority in 2013. Although this complaint was upheld, Baa Baa Beads refused to remove the misleading health claims from their website.
The Society then worked with the Advertising Standards Authority to escalate the complaint to the Commerce Commission.
Mark Hanna, co-founder of the Society for Science Based Healthcare, said:
This warning is a win for consumers. We should be able to trust that products we buy will do what we’re told they’ll do, but unfortunately that is not always the case.
This warning to Baa Baa Beads should send a message to all sellers of these products: it is not acceptable to make misleading claims.
Consumers should be aware that health claims that sound too good to be true often are. If you are ever in doubt, a good start is to ask for evidence. If testimonials are the only evidence a company gives for their product, it’s probably not all it’s cracked up to be.
As a result of the Society for Science Based Healthcare’s earlier work to counter misleading claims about amber beads, an advertising guideline was published in November 2013 for promoters of these products. The guideline advises that misleading claims about the products, such as claims that they can treat or assist with the symptoms of teething, are unacceptable.
The Society for Science Based Healthcare is aware of other sellers that still make misleading claims about these products, and plans to bring them to the attention of the Commerce Commission.