Enforcement Notice about misleading ‘faux fur’ claims

Jan 17th '19

Today the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Compliance team issued a new Enforcement Notice on Misleading “Faux Fur” claims in clothes and accessories, which follows two ASA rulings published last week.

UK retailers, including sellers on UK-facing online platforms and marketplaces, must ensure their advertising is line with the Notice by 11 February 2019. The Compliance team will take targeted enforcement action from this date to ensure a level-playing-field, which may include – where advertisers are unwilling to comply – referral to CAP’s legal backstop.

Material information

CAP are concerned that consumers have been misled by adverts for “faux fur” products (also called “fake fur”) which in fact contained real animal fur. Consumers should expect products advertised as “fake fur” or “faux fur” to contain no real animal fur.

For the avoidance of doubt, they don’t think retailers and sellers are deliberately misleading consumers. CAP understand problems usually arise from supply chain pollution or lack of education and enforcement. Nonetheless, the buck stops with the advertiser, so it important steps are taken to ensure retailers and sellers abide by the rules.

Are you faux / real?

On a basic level, advertisers must not claim products are made from “faux fur” if they contain real animal fur.

On a more practical level, the Notice provides tips, including a three-step animal fur identification test, and a list of do’s and don’ts, to help advertisers keep to the rules.

A note for online marketplaces and platforms

CAP recognise that it may be difficult for online marketplaces to examine all the products sold on the platform, but that does not remove the responsibility they have to ensure that the products sold on the platform are correctly described.

If they have a “no animal fur policy”, online marketplaces should proactively educate marketplace sellers on how to tell real fur from faux fur and make sure their policies match up to their promise.

Source: CAP

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