New Malden vibrating chair business told to stop weight loss claims
A business slated by investors on BBC’s Dragons’ Den has been told to stop claiming its £10,000 vibrating chair can help obese people lose weight, after complaints were made.
Sit and Slim, run by New Malden-based Miruji, claimed sitting in the chairs and listening to audio tapes could even lower their blood pressure, potentially stopping them going to a doctor.
A so-called 'NHS trial' in which Miruji said 60 per cent of people lost weight was used as evidence to back up its claims in adverts.
But the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) formally upheld seven separate complaints against the company this week.
It said: "We told Miruji to ensure it held robust substantiation before making weight reduction claims and not to claim its products had undergone formal or NHS trials.
"We also told it not to claim it could treat obesity, to ensure it held documentary evidence any testimonials used in its ads were genuine and not to claim it could treat conditions for which medical supervision should be sought.”
Days after the ruling Miruji’s website still claimed the chair was a “revolutionary way to sustain weight loss”.
The company still mentions its appearance on Dragons’ Den last year, when the dragons roasted founder Alan Sharrock over his claims and did not invest.
Neither Mr Sharrock or anyone at Miruji was available for comment.
The ruling also said the so-called trial at Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich was not controlled and had no way of measuring whether or not the chair could help weight loss.
A spokesman for Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust said it had taken chairs as “something nice” for staff but said: “As soon as we were made aware of the misleading claims our evidence was submitted to the ASA.”
Mary Reid, from Hook, one of the people who complained, said: “I am delighted we persisted with the complaint to the ASA and that the complaints have been upheld and more.
“I feel huge sympathy for the people who have lost money through this dubious company.”