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Archived — Bauer Hockey Corp. and Competition Bureau clarify inaccurate statements in the media about the RE-AKT hockey helmet

OTTAWA, November 20, 2014 — Bauer Hockey Corp. and the Competition Bureau have issued the following statements to clarify certain misinformation in media reports about the recent agreement to resolve the Bureau’s concerns regarding certain performance claims contained in Bauer Hockey Corp.’s advertising for the RE-AKT Helmet.

Competition Bureau Statement:

"Following statements made by Bauer to the media, some reports suggested that Bauer has adequate and proper testing that substantiates its performance claims about the RE-AKT hockey helmet, including reports that suggested that the RE-AKT helmet was tested by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre. It was also reported that the Bureau’s concerns were a result of a misunderstanding and because current safety certification standards for hockey helmets had not caught up to Bauer’s testing.

The Bureau would like to clarify that the conclusions it reached did not result from a misunderstanding or the absence of a standardized testing protocol for rotational impacts. Rather, after an extensive investigation, the Bureau concluded that Bauer did not conduct adequate and proper testing to support the performance claims made about the RE-AKT helmet, as required by the Competition Act. In particular, the Bureau concluded that the testing that had been conducted by Bauer was inadequate to establish that the RE-AKT helmet would offer hockey players protection from rotational impacts and thereby offer protection from concussions. Moreover, contrary to statements attributed to Bauer, there was no testing or study performed by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre for the RE-AKT helmet.

In terms of product certifications or standards, the Bureau reminds advertisers that the Competition Act requires all performance claims to be supported by prior adequate and proper testing. The fact that a product may be certified for a particular use does not necessarily provide support for all performance claims that an advertiser may choose to make about a product."

Bauer Hockey Corp. Statement:

"Contrary to recent media reports, Bauer’s advertisements did not explicitly state that the RE-AKT helmet or any of its helmets were concussion-proof. Rather, the Bureau’s conclusions were based on its views of the general impression created by Bauer’s advertisements. Further, Bauer would like to clarify that, contrary to certain media reports, there was no court ruling that forced Bauer to remove its advertisements. Instead, Bauer and the Competition Bureau entered into a consent agreement that was registered with the Competition Tribunal, pursuant to which Bauer agreed to take certain steps to address the Bureau’s concerns.

Bauer acknowledges that the Bureau’s conclusion was based on a review of material and testing documentation provided to it by Bauer and does not arise as a consequence of a misunderstanding between Bauer and the Bureau. Although we work closely with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre, contrary to some reports in the media, this institution did not conduct testing on behalf of Bauer in respect of the RE-AKT helmet. We want to reiterate that experts state that concussions are mainly due to acceleration or deceleration of the brain and it remains unclear what role hockey helmets can play in protecting players from concussions.

Although we disagree with the Bureau’s conclusion that our internal and external testing was inadequate, we believe it is important to release this statement so that we can move forward and continue our focus on delivering the best possible products in the industry."

For media enquiries, please contact:
Competition Bureau Media Relations

Tory Mazzola
Sr. Manager, Corporate Communications
Bauer Hockey
Phone: 603-430-2111

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