ASA Ruling: Rayma Balance Bracelet

“PAIN? Guaranteed relief or your money back!”

“Do you suffer from arthritis, trigeminal neuralgia, high blood pressure, poor circulation, rheumatism, headaches, migraine, gout, fibrositis, shoulder stiffness or backache?” 

“Amazing Results” 

“Rayma Balance bracelet Natural Pain relief: It’s not Copper; nor is it magnetised”

Actually, all nonsense!

Here is how the ASA ruled against these claims:

Rayma Balance Bracelet / DL Whitehead / 8621

Ruling of the : ASA Directorate

In the matter between:

Prof . DAvid L Whitehead Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)

Topline Innovations Mail Order cc Respondent 

08 Dec 2009

BACKGROUND
In Rayma Balance bracelet / D L Whitehead / 8621 (8 June 2007), the Directorate ruled, inter alia, that the claims:

“PAIN? Guaranteed relief or your money back!” 

“Do you suffer from arthritis, trigeminal neuralgia, high blood pressure, poor circulation, rheumatism, headaches, migraine, gout, fibrositis, shoulder stiffness or backache?”

“Amazing Results”

“Rayma Balance bracelet Natural Pain relief: It’s not Copper; nor is it magnetised”

were not substantiated in terms of Clause 4.1 of Section II of the Code, and stated “Given that the respondent did not provide objective verification emanating from an independent, credible research entity to substantiate the claims at issue, the advertisement contravenes Clause 4.1 of Section II” and “Given the above finding, claims implying that the advertised bracelet is able to relieve pain must be withdrawn” 

The respondent was instructed to remove the advertisement containing the claims with immediate effect and in terms of Clause 15.3 of the Procedural Guide. 

On 14 August 2009, the Directorate upheld a breach allegation and found that the respondent “still makes nearly exactly the same claims” as before despite not submitting any acceptable substantiation. On 15 September 2009 the Directorate sanctioned the respondent in accordance with Clause 14.2 of the Procedural Guide. In terms of this sanction, the respondent was required to obtain pre-clearance from the ACA Advisory Services for its next advertisement, taking into consideration the existing rulings. 

SUBSEQUENT TO RULING

On 26 October 2009, the respondent submitted a document from “Universidad De Alcala” dated 22 January 1999, signed by its Director, José Luis Bardasano Rubio, which concludes “The electromagnetic influence held by the bracelet is shown by an improvement in the overall health condition experienced by those persons who wear it.” 

RELEVANT CLAUSES OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE

In light of the new submissions the following clauses of the Code were taken into account: 

• Clause 4.1 of Section II – Substantiation

• Clause 4.2.1 of Section II – Misleading claims

COMPLAINANT’S RESPONSE

In accordance with procedure, the complainant was afforded an opportunity to comment on the new documentation. In essence, the complainant submitted, inter alia, that the substantiation is inadequate and does not support the claims in question and also noted that the submission was not current as it was carried out eleven years ago. 

The complainant also referred to a study done in 2002 by the Mayo Clinic in New York which found no efficacy in such bracelets. In addition, the complainant referred to a decision by the Federal Trade Commission of America (the FTC), which was later upheld by the Federal District Court of Chicago. In terms of this ruling, the manufacturer taken to task was fined millions of dollars. 

The isolated study submitted by the respondent has no impact. 

ASA DIRECTORATE RULING

The ASA Directorate considered all the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties. 

Acceptability of the new substantiation

The complainant submitted, inter alia, that the substantiation is inadequate and does not support the claims in question. 

In Samsung LCD / Sony SA / 8000 (15 November 2006), the Directorate noted that “it is for the respondent in a matter to substantiate the claims that it makes, and that the complainant’s data will normally only be taken into account in assessing whether or not they have a basis for complaint. Should a complaint be dismissed, a complainant who holds contradictory data to that of the respondent can opt for arbitration in terms of Clause 16 of the Procedural Guide”. 

Accordingly, the Directorate cannot at this time consider whether the complainant’s comments disprove any of the complainant’s claims. The only question the Directorate may answer is whether or not Universidad De Alcala is acceptable as an independent, credible expert, and whether it confirms the claims in question. 

Merits

The previous ruling found that the efficacy claims made for the bracelet were not substantiated in terms of in terms of Clause 4.1 of Section II of the Code as the respondent did not provide any independent, credible verification for the studies that it had submitted. 

The respondent has now submitted documentation from Universidad De Alcala which states, inter alia, that “The electromagnetic influence held by the bracelet is shown by an improvement in the overall health condition experienced by those persons who wear it.” The Directorate however notes that the documentary submission is not relevant to the claims and is therefore not an unequivocal verification of the claims in question. The claims are therefore not adequately substantiated as required by the Code. 

Accordingly, the claims: 

“PAIN? Guaranteed relief or your money back!” 

“Do you suffer from arthritis, trigeminal neuralgia, high blood pressure, poor circulation, rheumatism, headaches, migraine, gout, fibrositis, shoulder stiffness or backache?” 

“Amazing Results” 

“Rayma Balance bracelet Natural Pain relief: It’s not Copper; nor is it magnetised” 

are still in contravention of Clause 4.1 of Section II and can therefore misleading in terms of Clause 4.2.1 of Section II. In light of this, the ruling of 8 June 2007 remains binding and the respondent may not use the claims in question. 

The Directorate deems it unnecessary to comment on the acceptability and the independence, credibility and expertise of Universidad De Alcala at this stage, as the substantiation emanating from this institution is not claim specific, and therefore not acceptable.

2 Responses to ASA Ruling: Rayma Balance Bracelet

  1. Barbie 21 December, 2015 at 9:41 am #

    I am truly amazed at this. My husband has had 3 Rayma Bracelets which are the only form of relief that he gets to ensure his day to day mobility and also a good nights rest. His only alternative is medication every night and constant physio. The Rayma Bracelet does do what it says it can do and even if it doesn’t work for everyone, which could be probable but every person that we have recommended it to has found relief. To the best of my knowledge no adverse/harmful side effects have ever been reported so I cannot understand this ban. Kindly explain.

    • Harris 21 December, 2015 at 10:28 am #

      @Barbie
      If your husband believes that this product works for him, and he does benefit, good for him. However there is no evidence that this product does actually work and therefore to advertise that it does based on anecdotal belief that it does, is wrong. It is one thing to purchase a copper bracelet hoping or believing that it may help you based on someone’s opinion, another to advertise it with claims that it does.

      Results of a 2013 study: “Wearing a magnetic wrist strap or a copper bracelet did not appear to have any meaningful therapeutic effect, beyond that of a placebo, for alleviating symptoms and combating disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis.”

      2009 study: “Our results indicate that magnetic and copper bracelets are generally ineffective for managing pain, stiffness and physical function in osteoarthritis. Reported therapeutic benefits are most likely attributable to non-specific placebo effects. However such devices have no major adverse effects and may provide hope.”

      Not a single study has demonstrated copper bracelets to work, and similarly for the Rayma bracelet.

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