It is very sad, to me, the debunking of a good company. In all honesty I wanted to write, “defunking”, not debunking. Because the company, Power Balance, which as of this past Tuesday laid off my husband and almost the entire originating team of people, is not debunked, it is defunked. Though according to Webster and other word enthusiasts “defunk” is not a word. Shall I move out of my circle of nonsense and give it to you straight? …I’ll give it my best shot, though this is one of those posts that might just be written for me and nobody else. Which is why defunked will stay in.
The take down: AUSTRALIA
There is a “watch-dog” organization in Australia that dissected the advertisement campaign of the Power Balance company to find it had broken an Australian advertising rule. This group of dogs decided it was their mission to take down the company instead of correct its error. Granted, the legal department back here in the states was to blame for the oversight, though the take down hardly seems a fitting judgement for the crime. And right now I have forgotten the written verbiage that sunk the ship, but I do remember reading it (before Cole had surgery last March), and thinking to myself, “really, this is the hullabaloo?”. Well regardless of my opinion or that of others, the Australians (or the leering canines) had deemed the infraction severe enough to engage a class action law suit against Power Balance. And the result has been catastrophic. The legal fees alone were enough to cause the powers that be to file chapter 11, bankruptcy. The court date was back in November, and though at the onset the outcome seemed to please the original owners, what has followed has changed their beloved company to an unrecognizable state.
Removing of the Funk: LAYING OFF
The company was a group of individuals who were enthusiastic about who they worked for and what they did. It was a family–of sorts. As a family we (yes, the “extended’s” of the employees were considered part of the fold) worked together for charitable and philanthropic causes, played together at picnics, and partied together at celebrations. Of course work was always the main focus, but when you’re having a good time and enjoying what you do, it is an indistinguishable line–that of work and play. And sadly, most of the individuals who began the journey together, have been let go together as well. Thus the company has been defunked.
I won’t say Power Balance has been debunked, because I have come the long road to being a believer in the effectiveness of its product. Was I grateful Brian was employed by a company? Yes. Did that appreciation depend on my belief in the product? No. Though I remember almost 10years back when Troy and his brother Josh (friends of ours) came out of the water from surfing and showed Esther and I their amazing little hologram sticker. At that time it hadn’t yet found its home in a wrist band, so they were merely demonstrating their new found technology as a single, round, holographic sticker. Esther and I laughed at their presentation, and they graciously took our jeers.
As Brian became one of the integral players on the Power Balance team, I continued to take my time to defend the product and its claims. Even as I was witness to dramatic improvement in the balance of several close friends and family, I still remained a skeptic and felt the little wrist band couldn’t be of any use to me personally. Well lo and behold, I eventually crossed over to the group of believers as Esther showed me that the band improved my agility. It is true, it did. It is also true that when I wear my Power Balance bracelet while exercising I don’t experience pain in my knees or hip. And when I forget to put it on, and go out for a nice long hike, midway through my excursion I start to feel a tightness in either of those areas. So here I am sold on the product (for I was sold on the owners long ago), yet now the company is no longer a part of our family.
When I think of the spiraling devastation which came in the name of “keeping a watchful eye out for the general public”, I can’t help but feel there was a gross oversight on the part of the Aussie-dogs (no connection to the footwear company). For there are many a “general public” here in the states who are now filling out the dreaded unemployment application, who know through first hand experience and second hand testimonials that the company they worked for and its product was definitely in the interest of the people…all people.
The product remains (though now I will have to purchase my bracelet instead of bother my husband to pick one up for me at the office), though the balance of powers has shifted. “Pero asi es”, or “c’est la vie”, or “such is life”, and on to the next adventure!