Posted 01 June 2017
A UK website stated that StreamZ collars (magnetic resonance therapy) had achieved success “on horses and humans”; would support a range of medical conditions including “Mobility and fitness, injured and aching muscles, energy levels and vitality, digestion issues, general happiness and condition, overall wellbeing” and were as beneficial “as a balanced diet” for dogs of any age.
A consumer laid a complaint with the UK ASA arguing that there is no evidence to support these claims. The UK ASA ruled that “The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told StreamZ not to state or imply that their collars supported or assisted with any symptoms unless they had been clinically proven to do so.”
ASA Ruling on Streamz Global Ltd
Upheld Internet (on own site) 31 May 2017
Home Codes and rulings Rulings Streamz Global Ltd
A website for StreamZ dog collars, www.streamz-global.com, seen on 10 October 2016 stated that StreamZ collars had achieved success “on horses and humans”; would support a range of medical conditions including “Mobility and fitness, injured and aching muscles, energy levels and vitality, digestion issues, general happiness and condition, overall wellbeing” and were as beneficial “as a balanced diet” for dogs of any age.
The complainant, who understood that magnetic resonance therapy, as used in the collars, was not clinically proven, challenged whether the claims were misleading and could be substantiated.
StreamZ Global Ltd t/a StreamZ said they accepted the claim that its collars were “as beneficial as a balanced diet” could not be substantiated and removed it from their website.
StreamZ believed they could provide evidence for the claims that their product supported a range of conditions. They said their website stated that “Dog StreamZ are a complimentary form of medicine, they are not clinically proven”. They said they did not claim the product would cure any of the listed conditions, only support them. They said that the bands had been proven to assist and aid recovery.
To support their claims, StreamZ provided summaries of two studies completed by students at a university college which tested the efficacy of StreamZ technology on horses. They also provided a study they had carried out on 40 dogs that had been clinically diagnosed with arthritic conditions. They said that the study anecdotally confirmed that their claims that the collars could support a range of conditions could be supported by evidence. They also said that the studies did not represent clinical studies, however they could be used to collate enough anecdotal evidence to support the introduction of clinical studies.
The ASA considered that consumers would understand from the ad that the collars could support or assist a range of conditions. We acknowledged that StreamZ did not claim to cure any of the conditions. We considered, however, that the claims that the devices assisted or supported a range of conditions, were also medical claims that required substantiation, in this case including trials conducted on dogs.
The website stated that “successful independent studies” had been carried out and that StreamZ collars had “been shown” to support a number of conditions. The website also stated that the collars rebalanced a dog’s system back to “its natural resonant state” and included surveys and testimonials which suggested that the collars did support the listed conditions. We acknowledged the evidence that StreamZ submitted to support these claims, but we did not consider that the studies were adequate to support the claims made.
We considered that the summaries of the two independent studies submitted did not show that the technology would assist with any conditions suffered by dogs, because the studies were carried out on horses. The studies did not appear to conclude that the claims made by StreamZ had been proven. One stated that there was an association between StreamZ technology and improved tarsal joint mobility from the sample tested, but suggested that a larger sample was required to increase the robustness of the findings. The other study recommended further research with a larger sample size and taking into account previous injuries and medical diagnoses. In addition we had not seen the studies in full, and noted that they had not been published or subject to peer review so we did not consider that the studies were sufficient to support the claims that had been made.
StreamZ also provided studies that they had carried out themselves, but again, we did not consider that these were sufficient to support the claims that had been made. The tests were not carried out by veterinary professionals and were not placebo controlled. Although the StreamZ website stated that the studies were “independent”, they were arranged by StreamZ. They used a small sample size and relied on the observations of the dog owners only, rather than more objective observations.
Overall, we did not consider that the body of evidence provided was sufficient to substantiate the claims that StreamZ collars supported or assisted with any symptoms or conditions described in the ad. We therefore concluded that the claims had not been substantiated and were misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 12.1 (Medicines, Medical Devices, Health Related Products and Beauty Products)
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told StreamZ not to state or imply that their collars supported or assisted with any symptoms unless they had been clinically proven to do so.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
12.1 3.1 3.7