Ad Alert

Gamer Advantage’s Blue-Light Glasses

Are these gaming glasses really 'clinically proven' to improve sleep?

Ad Alert

Gamer Advantage’s Blue-Light Glasses

In an ad that ran on a Twitch gamer’s channel, Gamer Advantage CEO Bryan Reedy claimed his company’s blue-light glasses feature “the first clinically proven lens to stop the suppression of melatonin so you can get a better night’s rest.”

Blue light slows the production of the sleep hormone melatonin in our bodies, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). That messes with our circadian rhythm, or sleep cycle. We are exposed to blue light from the sun but also from our screens.

So, if Gamer Advantage’s blue-light glasses could prevent a reduction in melatonin production even while playing Grand Theft Auto or League of Legends – or, for non-gamers, scrolling through Instagram – that would indeed lead to a better night’s rest.

The problem is the company doesn’t have adequate substantiation to support its bold claims, according to a recent inquiry by the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

In response to an advertising challenge, Gamer Advantage submitted a Master’s thesis, two scientific posters, a news article and an ophthalmologist’s comments, which the company said supported the claim that its blue-light glasses were scientifically proven to improve sleep quality.

The ASA wasn’t impressed, writing that “[w]hen we assessed the evidence provided by Gamer Advantage, we considered that it did not meet the standard of evidence we required for the type of claims being made.” Specifically:

The first document was an unpublished Master’s thesis which was not peer-reviewed. The second was an unpublished scientific poster which was also not peer-reviewed, and stated that a causal relationship between melatonin level changes in response to wearing Gamer Advantage blue-light glasses could not be established. The other scientific poster was also unpublished and had a sample size of ten.

The news article, meanwhile, “did not definitively conclude that Gamer Advantage glasses improved sleep quality,” the ASA said. And it found that the ophthalmologist’s comments “did not constitute documentary evidence and as such could not take them under consideration.”

We also considered that, in all of the evidence submitted, any sample sizes used or referred to were too small for results to be extrapolated to the wider population.

As such, the ASA concluded that the challenged claims were misleading and had not been properly substantiated. The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form and told Gamer Advantage not to make claims that its blue-light glasses could improve sleep quality without adequate substantiation.

The good news is there is already a solution that doesn’t cost any money.

“Sleep can be improved without special eyeglasses,” the AAO states. “You don’t need to spend extra money on blue light glasses to improve sleep – simply decrease evening screen time and set devices to night mode.”

Of note, blue-light glasses were a sought-after product during the height of the pandemic, when working and schooling from home meant increased screen time. As we reported in October 2020, even Joe Rogan promoted a pair on his podcast.

The takeaway

Marketers love to tout their products as “clinically proven.” Unfortunately, has seen a worrisome trend of companies playing fast and loose with what they claim to be clinical studies in order to promote marketing messages that simply aren’t accurate. Consumers should view these kinds of claims with a fair amount of skepticism.

Find more of our coverage on clinically proven claims here.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

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