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Ad regulator pulls down Branson-backed magic undies

Wireless Armour ads promising radiation-free wedding tackle labelled 'misleading'

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The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has decided that Wireless Armour, which promises to protect your crown jewels from nasty WiFi signals, can't be advertised in Blighty.

The underwear, which has sought funds on Indiegogo and later attracted the high-profile backing of Richard Branson, claimed that silver threads in the product created a Faraday cage that stopped radio signals reaching the wearer's wedding tackle.

In response to a complaint to the ASA, the company provided studies that purport to show (a) reduced sperm motility (in a test tube rather than in the human body, and accordingly debunked); (b) impact on rat sperm, a paper whose authors noted couldn't be extrapolated to humans; and (c) a purported link between infertility and mobile phone usage.

“We therefore considered that none of the papers that had been provided demonstrated that mobile phone radiation had a proven negative impact on human male fertility, and concluded that the claims asserting a link between the two were misleading,” the ASA writes in its ruling.

On that basis, the ASA has decided the advertisement breaches rules around substantiation of claims, misleading advertising, and the advertising of health products.

The ASA is also unimpressed with the claim that the product's independent test demonstrated its effectiveness at blocking wireless signals: “We ... considered that the evidence provided was not sufficient to show that the product, when utilised by consumers, was able to prevent EM from reaching the genitals”. ®

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