A high-tech underwear brand backed by Sir Richard Branson has been banned from claiming that its product protects men’s genitals from radiation emitted by mobile phones.
Wireless Armour, which launched earlier this year, was named one of Branson’s “top ten back of an envelope” start-up ideas at the Business Show in London.
Founded by Joseph Perkins, the brand claimed that its underwear incorporates “a mesh of pure Silver” woven into the fabric, which “encases the user in a cage of metal”.
It said on its crowdfunding website, indiegogo.com, that the “Faraday Cage is special because any electromagnetic radiation that hits it is distributed around the cage, therefore not allowing into enter the cage and affect what ever [sic] is stored within.”
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received a complaint challenging Wireless Armour’s claims and the idea that by carrying mobiles devices on our bodies 24/7 we are “subjecting ourselves to huge amounts of radiation.”
In response, Wireless Armour provided brief summaries of eight studies and three full papers, which it believed demonstrated that mobile phone radiation had a negative impact on male fertility.
But the ASA concluded 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 brand also provided a test report from a third party, showing the results achieved when the fabric utilised by the product was tested for electromagnetic shielding, but this evidence “was not sufficient” to show that the product, when utilised by consumers, was able to prevent electromagnetic radiation from reaching the genitals, the ASA concluded.