November 13, 2014 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau
The Competition Bureau announced today that Bauer Hockey Corp. (Bauer), a manufacturer of hockey equipment, has agreed to cease making certain performance claims related to the Bauer RE-AKT hockey helmet. Under the terms of a consent agreement reached with the Bureau, Bauer has also agreed to make a $500,000 donation of equipment to a registered Canadian charity supporting youth participation in sport.
Bauer’s advertisements for the RE-AKT helmet contained words, images and videos that the Bureau found created the impression that the product would offer hockey players protection from concussions caused by rotational impacts. Although Bauer had conducted testing on the helmet prior to making the claims, the Bureau concluded that the testing was not adequate and proper to support the marketing claims.
As a result, Bauer has entered into a consent agreement with the Bureau to resolve the matter that requires the company to:
- Donate $500,000 worth of equipment to a charity that supports youth participation in sport;
- Remove or modify the remaining performance claims from all RE-AKT marketing material, including packaging and online advertising;
- Implement an enhanced Corporate Compliance Program, and take steps to ensure retailers do not make the performance claims; and
- Pay $40,000 toward the cost of the Bureau’s investigation.
When possible, the Bureau prefers to resolve matters without the use of costly litigation. In this case, Bauer fully cooperated with the Bureau’s investigation. The Bureau will continue to monitor the marketplace for any instances of unproven performance claims.
- Current hockey helmet testing standards are aimed at protecting players from catastrophic brain injuries, such as skull fractures, not concussions.
- The science behind concussions in sports is still in its infancy, and the role that any hockey helmet can play in protecting players from concussions remains unclear.
- Protective equipment is only one of several factors relevant to concussion injuries. Other factors include age, weight, a player’s strength, location of the impact and whether or not it was anticipated.
"The Bureau takes representations to the public about performance claims that are not based on prior adequate and proper testing very seriously, particularly when they relate to the health and safety of consumers. I am pleased that an agreement is in place that will result in the performance claims being corrected, and that some underprivileged children will have greater opportunities to participate in sports."
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