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August 7, 2013

FTC Issues Final Decision Against Neiman Marcus and Other Retailers in Response to 2011 Fur False Advertising Petition

The Federal Trade Commission issued a final decision and order on The HSUS’ 2011 fur false advertising and labeling petition against three retailers – Neiman Marcus, Dr. Jays and Revolve Clothing. The FTC’s final order, which expires no sooner than July 18, 2033, requires that these retailers: abide by the federal Fur Products Labeling Act; educate their employees as to fur advertising and labeling restrictions; provide the FTC with compliance reports as well as consumer complaints, test results or other evidence that calls into question ads or labels; and other compliance measures.

Ralph Henry, deputy director of Animal Protection Litigation for The HSUS said: “There is an epidemic of false advertising in the fur industry. Raccoon dog fur sold as faux fur and other advertising and labeling problems have been deceiving consumers for years.We applaud the Federal Trade Commission for taking action to protect consumers from animal fur misrepresented as ‘faux’ fur and encourage the agency to continue to diligently prosecute any violations of fur labeling laws.”

The HSUS’ 2011 petition to the FTC named 11 nationally and internationally known retailers, including the retailers in the FTC enforcement action. Each retailer falsely advertised jackets, cardigans, shoes or other products as containing faux fur even though independent laboratory testing confirmed that the products contained real animal fur. The petition alleged that the practices of these retailers mislead consumers and violated the federal Fur Products Labeling Act.

The HSUS encourages retailers and designers to drop animal fur altogether as the best way to stop the inhumane treatment of animals in the fur industry, and to protect consumers from this misrepresentation. Several retailers and designers have heeded this call and decided to go fur-free, including Sears, Tommy Hilfiger, True Religion Brand Jeans, Yoox.com and Rocawear. Others have decided to stop selling fur from raccoon dogs – a species in the Canidae family documented to be skinned alive for their fur – including Dillard’s, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom, Bluefly.com, Michael Kors, Andrew Marc and St. John Knits.

Timeline

  • March 2007 – The HSUS filed a FTC petition after an investigation determined many retailers and designers were selling falsely labeled or falsely advertised jackets containing raccoon dog, domestic dog or wolf fur.
  • April 2008 – The HSUS filed a new fur false advertising complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. 
  • November 2011 – The HSUS filed a legal petition with the Federal Trade Commission against 11 nationally and internationally known retailers for the false advertising and mislabeling of fur trimmed products. 

Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson: 301-721-6463; ksanderson@humanesociety.org

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