So, stumbled across a snoring cure. You can see the website here. Now, I’m gonna call bullshit on this right now, but that would seem rather unfair to the company so let’s look a little closer at what they claim.
I have screen clipped their website and I will discuss each section. The main page looks like this:
This says that you wear the ring on your little finger and that it is a snoring treatment that is guaranteed to work. Apparently it’s also been clinically tested! They have made a very specific claim here that wearing this ring on your little finger will make you stop snoring. What else do they have to say?
This explains how it works. Or rather it doesn’t. All it says is that there are Acu-activators on the ring. A quick google shows that this isn’t a real term and isn’t used anywhere apart from the stop snoring website.
It’s not looking too good for this product and we’ve not even really started. I think they may be trying to imply that the things on the ring activate acupuncture points? This is irrelevant as acupuncture is clearly bullshit.
Next bit from the www.goodnightsnoring.com website:
Testimonials amount to nothing. The plural of anecdote is NOT data. I don’t care. 3500 years of history can’t be wrong can it? Of course it can. We now use medicine with evidence not rubbish about Chi and acupuncture points. Also, being mentioned in the Daily Fail is not necessarily a good thing. In fact if a medical “cure” is mentioned in the Mail or Express you can pretty much assume it’s bullshit.
Now, the website covers this with the following page:
They claim that a good clinical trial was performed and the results were almost a miracle. This is good because if there is good evidence then I would be prepared to change my mind. The goodnightsnoring.com website doesn’t have a link to the clinical trial. I want to be able to read it and then change my mind. It seems that these are extraordinary claims and so it would be prudent to examine the evidence.
I searched PubMed. There was nothing about the Snoring Ring as being sold here. So I tried searching Google Scholar. Nothing again, just a paper about breast cancer. This was troublesome, my two main sources for scientific papers were showing nada. I decided to look using plain old Google. I searched for “snoring ring clinical trial”.
From these results I wasn’t interested in the Snoring Ring website, there’s nothing on there. I also couldn’t care for a news article in the Daily Fail [they don’t know how to report science]. The other links were mostly places that sell the product and so have probably just got the blurb from a product information release. What interested me originally was the ASA link.
In 2012 a complaint was made to the ASA about the evidence for the claims that the Snoring Ring company were making. The complaint was upheld and the company were told not to make claims about the snoring ring. The so called medical trial was completed after this ruling by the ASA!
Also in the search results was a link to ANTISNOR, a company who produce anti snoring rings. Now, this company mentioned on this page a French company who had done the clinical trials.
In 2012, a French scientific research organisation, Proclaim (www.proclaim.fr), studied the effect of AntiSnor Acupressure Ring . . . .
The Proclaim website doesn’t exist. Even though ANTISNOR link to it. Oh dear, the trail has gone cold.
There are a number of RED FLAGS on the original website. The mention of the following aspects all cause concern. They don’t mean it doesn’t work, they just mean we should be sceptical until we have seen the evidence.
- Money back guarentees
- No links to the evidence
- Publicity from the Daily Mail
- Non invasive and side effect free
- Appeal to antiquity on the acupressure part of the site
- No email address to ask for a copy of the clinical trial
So far, I’ve had some people say they think this work and no actual medical trials even though one is claimed. Back to Google.
Another link from Google heads towards Princeton Consumer Research. It appears that this company will undertake clinical trials for you and then allow you to use the results in your publicity. Here’s a Princeton Brochure with their claims. After finding this I found a company called Aspen Clinical Research. They had a pdf linked here and also Aspen-Clinical-Anti-Snoring-Ring-Media-Coverage1 from my site. This PDF essentially claims that the publicity they managed to produce for the Anti Snoring ring was brilliant. They seem to be more of a PR firm than a clinical trial firm. This makes me very wary.
Aspen Clinical Research even went so far as to persuade the press that there was a National Stop Snoring Week in 2014. This is depressing reading.
I hadn’t realised there would be companies that are willing to be paid to undertake some form of research to legitimise PR claims and also produce media puff.
Both Aspen Clinical Research and Princeton Consumer Research do not seem concerned with legitimate medical trials, rather they concentrate on PR friendly trials to produce media results. Neither of the websites were searchable from their homepages. Also, both companies seem to be offering to pay participants. This can’t be a good thing, it would bias the results. All I want is a copy of the clinical trial for the Anti Snoring Ring and I can’t find it. What I have found are companies who provide easy results for PR.
It seems to me that these companies offer to do science the wrong way around and therefore they don’t offer science. It looks like the cycle goes:
- You have a product and want to make specific claims
- You will be banned from advertising if you can’t substantiate these claims
- You PAY one of these companies to do a trial for you so you can then substantiate your claim
- You then advertise claiming scientific proof.
The correct cycle should be:
- Scientific research indicates that a specific product could work
- The product is developed
- A trial is designed and the details published before being conducted
- The product is tested rigorously
- The product is deemed to work, the product can be advertised with specific claims
- The product is deemed not to work, the product can’t be advertised
I feel utterly depressed at the state of media manipulation and that there are companies that do this as their raison d’etre. Everything we see and hear is manipulated to sell products. I started this communication as a simple investigation into the evidence for a product as they claim. What I found was a collection of companies willing to provide you the evidence you want so you can claim what you want for your product that (probably) does nothing.
Anyway, I can’t get to the evidence for the Snoring Ring. I haven’t found the paper with details of the trial and so I am going to complain to the ASA about their website claims. Watch this space.