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View Full Version : Point Two reprimanded for misleading ads



Blugal
Apr. 5, 2011, 10:47 AM
Horse and Hound reports (http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/tradenews/7544/306706.html) that Point Two has been reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority.

A few quotes:

'The photo accompanying the advert shows a child wearing only a Point Two jacket.'

'One advert claimed "the child's Point Two Air Jacket offers six times more protection than a BETA level 3 body protector".'

'The ASA said it had not seen "suitably robust evidence to support the claim" that the jacket was six times more effective. It ruled that the adverts must not appear again in their current forms.'

FrittSkritt
Apr. 5, 2011, 11:15 AM
Who wants to bet $10 that this *won't* be mentioned on Eventing Nation? (Point Two is one of EN's big sponsors.)

(And yes, I am an EN reader/supporter... just playing devil's advocate.)

Backstage
Apr. 5, 2011, 11:20 AM
Very interesting, but not surprising!

I was at a demonstration of sorts hosted by Selena and Morag O`Hanlon a few weeks ago. They both did an excellent job appealing to a very mixed audience (some eventers but lots and lots of western and pleasure riders). It was a genuinely enjoyable session. The only downside was when one of them (I believe it was Morag) credited these new vests with saving O. Townend`s life at Rolex last year. So frustrating to see them being credited with saving lives when there is a lot of data and evidence missing thus far.

Edited to add: To be clear, it was not a Point 2 or Hit Air demonstration. It was an eventing demonstration, and during the cross-country portion, the comment about O. Townend was made.

FrittSkritt
Apr. 5, 2011, 11:22 AM
Backstage - they also tried to credit it with "saving" Faith Cook at Branham a couple of years back, even though it turns out she fractured her neck.

JER
Apr. 5, 2011, 11:42 AM
It's about time. PointTwo have been seriously misleading.

The US website homepage used to feature the Faith Cook rotational fall and claim that the rider was 'uninjured.' The truth was -- as substantiated by numerous news reports -- was that she fractured several vertebrae and was hospitalized.

After those 'minor' discrepancies were pointed out on this BB, the website was changed.

Also, PointTwo gets a distasteful amount of 'advertorial' mentions in the media outlets in which it advertises. Horse & Hound and Eventing have both been quite guilty of this (as for EN, there might be a lot of product mentions but it in no way compares to the 'saved by a PointTwo' shout-outs in those other pubs).

Finally, two recent rider deaths -- one last year at a CIC*** in Italy, another at a team chase in the UK -- happened to riders wearing PointTwos. The CIC*** rider died of head injuries so the P2 was irrelevant; the second died of crush injuries to the torso. Hopefully, the coroner's inquest will tell us how the PointTwo performed in the latter incident. I doubt P2 will be forthcoming with that information.

I'm all for safety products and safety improvements and I have nothing against someone trying to make a buck off safety. But misleading advertising and a lack of science to support the device's safety/protection claims aren't the best of selling points.

VicariousRider
Apr. 5, 2011, 11:44 AM
Who wants to bet $10 that this *won't* be mentioned on Eventing Nation? (Point Two is one of EN's big sponsors.)

(And yes, I am an EN reader/supporter... just playing devil's advocate.)

I am an EN fan as well, but I have to constantly remind myself that it is a BLOG (with opinions, rumors, speculation) and therefore not governed by the "traditional" rules of journalism (unless they impose those rules on themselves which they have not consistently done in the past). I love that site, but I have to remember to take things with a grain of salt. However, there is no better place to get event coverage and results plus interesting interviews and articles.

VicariousRider
Apr. 5, 2011, 11:50 AM
I'm all for safety products and safety improvements and I have nothing against someone trying to make a buck off safety. But misleading advertising and a lack of science to support the device's safety/protection claims aren't the best of selling point.

Amen. I have hear anecdotal evidence from people who have said that hitting the ground in the vest felt less traumatic. This may very well be the case, even if the vest does not save lives. That is plenty of benefit, IMO.

What is lacking is a 3rd party study of the vest's benefits. Do we know if one is underway? Would such a study be best if it were done with "crash test dummies" so to speak or should we just be gathering data of falls with the vest compared to without. It seems that the former might provide a more accurate idea of the vests capabilities given that there are so many variables in real life falls. Anyone have a take on this.

snoopy
Apr. 5, 2011, 12:04 PM
The ATA is really craking down on misleading ads on telly, magazines, newspapers, flyers, and internet lately.

equinedriver
Apr. 5, 2011, 12:05 PM
Someone in the audience should have pointed out when they made the O. Townsend statement that photo's clearly show the horse landing on him with vest NOT inflated, as they hadn't separated enough for the cord to pull and deploy the vest.............

Napoles
Apr. 5, 2011, 12:06 PM
Hum.. as someone who events and who owns a P2, I have to say that I was damn glad of my one when competing a young horse at Novice (Prelim?) level last October. He misread the question at a big open corner (I didn't help) and jumped the wide part and into the middle of it. I fell off and banged my back off the back rail in the process. I definitely think I would have been a lot more sore if I hadn't been wearing the point 2.
Fingers crossed I won't be testing it out again any time soon!!:D

plainbay22
Apr. 5, 2011, 12:20 PM
I love EN but I agree you won't see this mentioned. The sponsors hold the purse strings.

Backstage
Apr. 5, 2011, 12:23 PM
Hum.. as someone who events and who owns a P2, I have to say that I was damn glad of my one when competing a young horse at Novice (Prelim?) level last October. He misread the question at a big open corner (I didn't help) and jumped the wide part and into the middle of it. I fell off and banged my back off the back rail in the process. I definitely think I would have been a lot more sore if I hadn't been wearing the point 2.
Fingers crossed I won't be testing it out again any time soon!!:D

Personally, I have no doubt that a P2 or Hit Air vest would alleviate some of the impact of a fall. I think in many instances I would end up less banged up with one than without.

I simply take issue with the life saving claims. Particularly where it seems evident from pictures that the vest was not responsible for saving a life.

I also have some concerns about the possibilities in more serious accidents. If I a horse and rider were to fall together and damage was sustained to the rider`s spinal cord, and then the horse rolled off and the vest went off, would the sudden pressure potentially exacerbate the situation?

SevenDogs
Apr. 5, 2011, 12:52 PM
Who wants to bet $10 that this *won't* be mentioned on Eventing Nation? (Point Two is one of EN's big sponsors.)

(And yes, I am an EN reader/supporter... just playing devil's advocate.)

You owe anyone that took your bet $10:

http://www.eventingnation.com/home/

breakthru
Apr. 5, 2011, 01:09 PM
You owe anyone that took your bet $10:

http://www.eventingnation.com/home/

Go Eventing Nation!

J3D1
Apr. 5, 2011, 01:23 PM
Wow FrittSkirtt and plainbay, I'm disappointed and saddened by your perspective. Why the heck wouldn't we write about the Horse and Hound article? I don't have any idea what the full story is in Britain but it's not a big deal to us as long as we make sure that we continue to represent our sponsors on EN with integrity and fun.

VicariousRider, other than H&H, where are your traditional journalists governed by 'traditional rules' protecting us all with perfectly balanced coverage in reporting this story?

To everyone else who gets what we work so hard to do on EN and how we try to do it, thanks for the kind words.

teddygirl
Apr. 5, 2011, 01:42 PM
Hey J3D1, I don't think anyone was criticizing EN specifically for having sponsors that you answer to, as a matter of fact you were favorably compared to some other outlets. And good for you for covering the story. A bunch of people here said great things about EN (me too, I'm an addicted fan!) And no one's saying P2's not a good product, just a little concerned about claims that aren't proven to be true. So don't be "disappointed and saddened", be happy so many people read EN. People are allowed to express their opinions, and a lot of those people love EN, but they can say what they're thinking here

VicariousRider
Apr. 5, 2011, 01:48 PM
http://www.eventingnation.com/home/

Glad to see it posted. Again, I hope that we can see a study of benefits of inflatable vests in the future.

J3D1: Blogs are inherently different from other publications, IME. No need to be so defensive. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I greatly enjoy EN for many reasons and I consider NO publication infallible.

FrittSkritt
Apr. 5, 2011, 01:49 PM
I am an EN fan as well, but I have to constantly remind myself that it is a BLOG (with opinions, rumors, speculation) and therefore not governed by the "traditional" rules of journalism (unless they impose those rules on themselves which they have not consistently done in the past). I love that site, but I have to remember to take things with a grain of salt. However, there is no better place to get event coverage and results plus interesting interviews and articles.

Very true. It'd be one thing if it were the Washington Post specfically not reporting that only 33% of Kaplan students graduate within six years (Kaplan is owned by WaPo) to specifically cover their asses, but that's a completely different potato. I praise EN for their informative and engaging content (hell, it's the first thing I read in the AM to get my eventing news), but they also have to play the sponsor game, so I truly thought they would have chosen NOT to include the report. However, they did provide the link and a blurb that P2 is a sponsor of H&H and EN, so I owe someone $10. :winkgrin: I should have said, "I don't expect a six page editorial from EN on the issue, lest P2 get their panties in a wad and yank their sponsorship." ;)




...
Also, PointTwo gets a distasteful amount of 'advertorial' mentions in the media outlets in which it advertises. Horse & Hound and Eventing have both been quite guilty of this (as for EN, there might be a lot of product mentions but it in no way compares to the 'saved by a PointTwo' shout-outs in those other pubs).
...
I'm all for safety products and safety improvements and I have nothing against someone trying to make a buck off safety. But misleading advertising and a lack of science to support the device's safety/protection claims aren't the best of selling points.

I will credit EN for not jumping on the "PointTwo saved me faster than an evangelical TV reverend!" bandwagon, but at the same time I do feel P2 has taken way too many liberties with their advertising in other venues. I remember seeing a P2 advertisement/posterboard at the BoB trailer last year at MCTA with a picture of Faith Cook's fall.

[Not to mention every ULR who wears one and has touted their effectiveness despite having no scientific research/support to back up their claims. If Karen O'Connor and Buck Davidson have been quoted as saying it works, then of course it'll save me, right? ;) ]

JER
Apr. 5, 2011, 01:58 PM
Eventing Nation has more journalistic integrity than either the New York Times or the Washington Post.

And EN is a lot more fun to read.

ctab
Apr. 5, 2011, 02:23 PM
Who wants to bet $10 that this *won't* be mentioned on Eventing Nation? (Point Two is one of EN's big sponsors.)

(And yes, I am an EN reader/supporter... just playing devil's advocate.)

How fast the worm turns....

John and the others at EN to a great job reporting on all things eventing from around the world. For free.
He hesitated and deliberated for a long time to allow advertising on his free site.
He has reported the good and the bad.

Do I think that he is "afraid" to post something bad about his sponsers? Nope.
I am SURE that IF Point Two or another sponser turned out to be not all that it was advertised and was in fact useless or worse harmful, the ads would be pulled from EN.

EN is blog not the New York Times, who is also biased and selective in this choice of topics.
However, I will say I get more from EN than I do from the USEA website.

Thank you John and all the others at EN.
You have done a great job & I hope you keep up the great work.
For Smurfs like me, I get to live vicariously through you.

There are always those who want to make drama and drag you down.
Kick on and run them over!
GO EN!

FrittSkritt
Apr. 5, 2011, 03:01 PM
There are always those who want to make drama and drag you down.
Kick on and run them over!
GO EN!

Who ever said I was "making drama" and "dragging them down?!" I merely speculated they wouldn't publish anything because P2 was a sponsor, and I admitted I was wrong. I have nothing against Eventing Nation. Telling people to "Kick on and run them over" isn't what I'd considered good eventing sportsmanship.

pixietrix
Apr. 5, 2011, 03:15 PM
I had a chance to talk to the Hit Air guy at both Fair Hill & in Phoenix (at the meeting), I apologize that I can't remember his name. When it became apparent that I was involved in Safety in the USEA, he became rather vocal about some of the misleaading claims that his competitor was getting away with & insinuated that the USEA should somehow get involved in regulating that...which I pointed out is not the function of the USEA & that the organization has not endorsed one model over another. I bet he is getting some satisfaction seeing these guys get their hands slapped.

I have to say that while I appreciate the potential for diminished injury while wearing the vests, they have not been quantitatively proven to safeguard against injury, even to the torso. Until they come up with the testing & the stats, it's anecdotal endorsement by upper level riders (that mostly got them for free) that got the ball rolling, IMHO.

I can handle rebuttal to that statement but I'm relieved to see a checks & balances to wild claims that can't be proven. And thumbs up to EN for stating the facts.

LAZ
Apr. 5, 2011, 05:06 PM
It's about time. PointTwo have been seriously misleading.

The US website homepage used to feature the Faith Cook rotational fall and claim that the rider was 'uninjured.' The truth was -- as substantiated by numerous news reports -- was that she fractured several vertebrae and was hospitalized.

After those 'minor' discrepancies were pointed out on this BB, the website was changed.

Also, PointTwo gets a distasteful amount of 'advertorial' mentions in the media outlets in which it advertises. Horse & Hound and Eventing have both been quite guilty of this (as for EN, there might be a lot of product mentions but it in no way compares to the 'saved by a PointTwo' shout-outs in those other pubs).

Finally, two recent rider deaths -- one last year at a CIC*** in Italy, another at a team chase in the UK -- happened to riders wearing PointTwos. The CIC*** rider died of head injuries so the P2 was irrelevant; the second died of crush injuries to the torso. Hopefully, the coroner's inquest will tell us how the PointTwo performed in the latter incident. I doubt P2 will be forthcoming with that information.

I'm all for safety products and safety improvements and I have nothing against someone trying to make a buck off safety. But misleading advertising and a lack of science to support the device's safety/protection claims aren't the best of selling points.

Well said.

I've had people ask me why I am against the air vests. I tell them I am not against them, but that the claims they make are unsubtaniated by any hard research.

I'm a huge safety advocate. Once the ASTM certifications were put in place for helmets I put one on and have worn it ever since. I was early on the bandwagon for crash vests because I figured it couldn't do any harm and it might help. I'm not so sure that a vest blowing up in very particular circumstances would be a good thing (as in a rotational fall where the rider goes down with the horse and breaks a Cervical vertebra). I'd think that having a sudden explosion in that case could cause paralysis that might otherwise be avoided. I do think that in regular falls they could provide a nice cushion to land on (but I don't see any hard research to support that opinion).

Edited to add that Backstage already posted the same opinion, with far fewer words. :)

Xctrygirl
Apr. 5, 2011, 05:27 PM
Eventing Nation has more journalistic integrity than either the New York Times or the Washington Post.

And EN is a lot more fun to read.

OK then maybe explain that to the AP photographers who often find their images on EN..... hmmmmm....

Maybe the folks at the NYT or WP are familiar with the term:

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-fairuse.html

Interesting. I kind of doubt every non-horse photo's photographer granted usage of it without payment. And most will see that the Fair Use terms don't quite apply in this case.

Hmmm...... now where was that definition of "Integrity?"


~Emily

Platinum Equestrian
Apr. 5, 2011, 05:59 PM
Go EventingNation! Way to prove the madd COTHers wrong with all of their negativity ...

Fair and balanced reporting... Eventing Nation... ;)

Bobthehorse
Apr. 5, 2011, 06:27 PM
I have to say that while I appreciate the potential for diminished injury while wearing the vests, they have not been quantitatively proven to safeguard against injury, even to the torso. Until they come up with the testing & the stats, it's anecdotal endorsement by upper level riders (that mostly got them for free) that got the ball rolling, IMHO.


Got them for free or were offered incentive to wear them....since many wear them on top of vests that arent beta 3 certified, I cant see how the motives for wearing them are 100% safety driven.

But yes I agree, something that makes things safer is always good, but there is no proof of these vests doing much in that sense. It just ends up looking like paid product placement.

asterix
Apr. 5, 2011, 06:32 PM
I'm not so sure that a vest blowing up in very particular circumstances would be a good thing (as in a rotational fall where the rider goes down with the horse and breaks a Cervical vertebra). I'd think that having a sudden explosion in that case could cause paralysis that might otherwise be avoided. I do think that in regular falls they could provide a nice cushion to land on (but I don't see any hard research to support that opinion).

Edited to add that Backstage already posted the same opinion, with far fewer words. :)

This is exactly what I am worried about. If I felt comfortable that it would NOT ever exacerbate a situation, I would buy one in a heartbeat, but I don't feel that I have seen the evidence for this yet.

I had a pretty hard fall last year and ended bouncing along on my back a bit. I'm SURE that in THAT fall, which did not result in serious injury but lots of muscle soreness I can still feel 7 months later, would have been a lot softer with the air vest.

But I am worried about spinal/neck injuries that could be inadvertently made worse under certain circumstances.

Can anyone point me to anything that would alleviate my fears on this score?

JER
Apr. 5, 2011, 06:49 PM
'Stacking' safety devices does not always lead to increased safety.

This has been found to be true with the combination of auto seat belts and airbags (adjustments had to be made and fine-tuning continues) as well as with condoms (the practice of 'double-bagging' is said to have a higher rate of failure due to friction).

:)

Platinum Equestrian
Apr. 5, 2011, 07:07 PM
'Stacking' safety devices does not always lead to increased safety.

This has been found to be true with the combination of auto seat belts and airbags (adjustments had to be made and fine-tuning continues) as well as with condoms (the practice of 'double-bagging' is said to have a higher rate of failure due to friction).

:)

Yes!

riderboy
Apr. 5, 2011, 07:44 PM
There still remains a lot of anecdotal "the air vest really saved me from worse injury" stories out there, several of which I've heard and read about. What does that mean? It's certainly not science and it's certainly not evidence of anything but it is very powerful. And the more falls we have the more of those stories will be out there. I think that's what's selling vests, that and huge numbers of upper level riders wear them. Again, nothing really PROVEN safety wise at all. As far as the misleading advertising? Really? Maybe I'm just a skeptic, but I find practically all advertising misleading to some degree, they're just trying to sell you something you probably don't need anyway. I wear a Point Two air vest. No super good reason, just makes me feel better and that's worth something. And I heard from this one rider.......
I also have to say, horse people have never,ever let a lack of scientifically proven benefit stop them from doing, using or wearing all sorts of gadgets, supplements, magnets, therapies etc,etc, if they thought it MIGHT help. Just another .02 worth.

Snaffle81
Apr. 5, 2011, 09:50 PM
OK then maybe explain that to the AP photographers who often find their images on EN..... hmmmmm....

Maybe the folks at the NYT or WP are familiar with the term:

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-fairuse.html

Interesting. I kind of doubt every non-horse photo's photographer granted usage of it without payment. And most will see that the Fair Use terms don't quite apply in this case.

Hmmm...... now where was that definition of "Integrity?"


~Emily

(bold is mine)

Are you a CR attorney or do you play one on TV? :lol:

As for air vests - I whole heartedly agree with JER and LAZ's comments, but I'd also like to see more consumers conduct research on the products, not taking the company or competitor's word as absolute truth (or fiction), and hold them accountable for their statements. In some instances it seems that the companies have listened, more can be done. Hopefully, safety can continue forward.

ltmac
Apr. 6, 2011, 02:05 PM
Hahahhaha, I actually found this out from EN. ;)