December 21, 2015 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau
As part of a consent agreement reached with the Competition Bureau, Reebok-CCM, a manufacturer of hockey equipment, has agreed to stop making certain performance claims related to the CCM Resistance hockey helmet and similar products. Reebok‑CCM has also agreed to make a $475,000 donation of sports equipment to a Canadian charity that supports youth in sports or teams, associations or leagues for underprivileged children or youth hockey players.
Reebok‑CCM’s advertisements for the CCM Resistance hockey helmet contained words, images and videos that the Bureau concluded created the impression that the helmet would protect players from head injuries such as concussions. Although Reebok‑CCM 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.
The agreement entered into with the Bureau to resolve the matter requires Reebok‑CCM to:
- Donate $475,000 worth of sports equipment to a charity that supports youth in sports or teams, associations or leagues for underprivileged children or youth hockey players;
- Remove or modify the remaining claims from all marketing material, including packaging and online advertising;
- Implement an enhanced Corporate Compliance Program, and take steps to ensure that retailers do not make the unsupported claims; and
- Pay $30,000 toward the cost of the Bureau’s investigation.
While the Bureau encourages innovation in the marketplace when it comes to new and improved technology and acknowledges Reebok‑CCM’s efforts to advance helmet design as positive, it is important that businesses do not make claims which may persuade consumers into purchasing a product that are not based on prior adequate and proper testing to support such 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.
- There are a multitude of factors such as age, weight, strength of the player, location of impact, and whether the hit was or was not anticipated when assessing concussion injury risk related to sports.
"We are pleased that Reebok‑CCM has cooperated with the Bureau’s investigation and has agreed to stop making claims that could lead consumers into believing that their helmets can prevent concussions. Arriving at an agreement rapidly that resolves the Bureau’s concerns while putting sports equipment in the hands of the less fortunate is a great alternative to spending time and resources in a courtroom."
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