Misleading advertising claims about an alleged anti-snoring ring have been withdrawn by the manufacturer and supplier after Australian Competition and Consumer Commission intervention.
More than 200,000 consumers worldwide are understood to have sought relief from the Anti Snor Therapeutic Ring which the supplier, ATQOL Pty Ltd, claimed used acupressure to stop a person from snoring and provide a relief from sinus, restless sleep and insomnia.
The ring was sold at most major chemist and health store chains in Australia and promoted through national television advertising and the company's website.
Additionally, the company's website, www.nosnor.com, claimed the ring had a 'proven history of successful drug free treatment of snoring' and was 'Tested and recommended by a Physician'.
The ACCC raised concerns that these claims were likely to mislead consumers to believe that the product had proven medical outcomes in treating snoring, sinus, restless sleep and insomnia when this was not so.
"When a product is heavily marketed and sold at major retail chains, consumers tend to give a certain legitimacy to the product and the representations being made," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said today.
"Suppliers of alternative health services and products must ensure that they are not overstating their supposed benefits while skirting around the fact that there is little or no supportive medical or scientific evidence."
ATQOL has acknowledged that its conduct may have contravened the misleading representations sections of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
It has provided the ACCC with court-enforceable undertakings that it will:
- not make absolute representations that the Anti-Snor Ring will stop snoring or relieve sinus problems, restless sleep or insomnia
- not represent that the ring has a 'proven history of successful drug free treatment of snoring' unless it has caused clinical trials to be undertaken to prove such a history
- not make any representation that the ring has been tested, approved or recommended by a health professional unless that health professional has undertaken testing in accordance with accepted standards for the design, conduct, records and reporting of clinical trials
- amend the ATQOL website and any current and/or future advertisements or publications to remove the incorrect representations
- ensure that all future representations made in the promotion and/or sale of the ring comply with the Act, and
- implement a trade practices law compliance program.
The ACCC has previously taken court action against a number of alternative health providers, including Advanced Allergy Elimination and NuEra, for misleading and deceptive conduct.
A copy of the undertaking will be available on the ACCC's website, www.accc.gov.au via the undertaking public register.