Applauding products that are too good to be true

Dear Max

In Australia, there is what’s called Choice’s Shonky Awards, which basically acknowledges products which don’t match up to their promises, and which, says Christopher Zinn, Choice’s director of communications, “reminds businesses that they can’t take advantage of consumers by bending the rules or putting risky products on the market”.

Here are some of the gems…

Peachy Pink shapewear

These underpants infused with green tea caffeine and peaches claim to reduce cellulite when worn eight hours a day over three weeks. The effects are “clinically-proven” by French research lab Spincontrol Laboratories which claims to employ “two doses of accuracy, one dose of creativity and a touch of audacity.”

Crystal-encrusted baby dummies

The coloured crystals fell off easily enough to become a choking hazard when tested by Choice. The dummies have been banned by the ACCC but are still available from overseas suppliers who avoid customs by labelling them as “jewellery”.

Sensaslim weight loss spray

This oral spray claims to decrease your appetite for food – at $70 per bottle. There is no evidence to back up the weight loss claims and the company has already been taken to court by the ACCC for alleged deceptive and misleading conduct.

Smurfs’ Village App game

A Smurf game available on iPad, iPhone and Android for free and aimed at young children requires players to use actual money to purchase “Smurfberries” to use as currency in the game.
In some cases it costs as much as $109.99 for a wagon-load of berries. While the game provides disclaimers before charging for purchases, Choice found that many children would not be able to read – or could easily get around – them.

Ouch. Eek. Oy vey.



4 responses to “Applauding products that are too good to be true”

  1. Tamiya says :

    Yup, I *totally* had that smurf game and played it for a few levels… Then I had to buy the smurfberries to advance and promptly deleted it off my Tab. Luckily I tested it first, before A1 got his hands on it!

  2. cat@juggling act says :

    Oh that Smurfs one is the one that scares me.

  3. taniaroux says :

    My Word. I’m SO deleting that Smurf game off my phone..

  4. Fiona says :

    What people come up with to make some money. It’s hilarious 🙂

    Even if those stockings really and truly shed some kilo’s, I don’t think I would ever wear them. They are beyond ugly!

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