Misleading “faux fur” claims

Jan 17th '19

Are you faux / real? Misleading “faux fur” claims.

Following two Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) rulings, against ads for a “Faux Fur Pom Pom Jumper” and a “Faux Fur Pom Pom Headband” respectively, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Compliance team have issued an Enforcement Notice on Misleading “Faux Fur” claims in clothes and accessories.

These rulings found that consumers had been misled by ads for “faux fur” products (also called “fake fur”) which had, in fact, contained real animal fur. Whether a product contains real or ‘fake’ fur is likely to affect a consumer’s decision and claims that a product contains or is made from “fake fur” or “faux fur” is likely to be understood to mean that it contains no real animal fur.

  • What does this mean for me?

In essence, advertisers must not claim that products are made from “faux fur” (or similar) if they contain real animal fur and it’s up to them to be confident that they’re telling the truth. If you advertise to the UK market, which includes selling on UK-facing online platforms or marketplaces, this applies to you.

For the avoidance of doubt, CAP are not suggesting that retailers and sellers are deliberately setting out to mislead consumers about ‘faux fur’ products. It would seem that these issues usually arise from supply chain pollution or lack of education and enforcement.

Nonetheless, the buck stops with the advertiser, so it’s important to take steps to ensure you’re sticking to the rules.

  • What can I do to comply?

CAP understand that laboratory analysis is the most accurate method for identifying animal and faux synthetic fur, but their Enforcement Notice also lays out a three-step test you can try yourself.

CAP also drawn up a few practical ‘do’s and don’ts’, which include:

  • Do be as transparent as possible about the materials in the products advertised (and make clear if and how products were tested)
  • Don’t assume that the low cost of a product from a supplier is a good indicator that the product does not contain animal fur – real animal fur is not necessarily more expensive than faux fur under current market conditions.

Where can I get more advice?

Source: CAP

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