Covid-19 claims misleading, Australian regulator alleges.
Sportswear retailer Lorna Jane is being taken to court across the Tasman over claims its “anti-virus activewear” could stop the spread of Covid-19.
Lorna Jane is an Australian-owned company that also has stores here.
The company claimed activewear sprayed with a substance called “LJ Shield” not only eliminated and stopped the spread of Covid-19 but also provided protection against other viruses and pathogens.
The claims, which appeared on the company’s website, Instagram and in stores, included “Cure for the spread of Covid-19? Lorna Jane thinks so” and “With Lorna Jane Shield on our garments it meant that we were completely eliminating the possibility of spreading any deadly viruses”.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said Lorna Jane removed most of the claims in mid-July 2020. However, until at least November it continued to make claims on garment tags that the clothing protected wearers against pathogens.
The commission filed proceedings against Lorna Jane in December, alleging the claims were false and misleading.
ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said it was “particularly concerning” the claims were made at a time when there was fear about a second wave of Covid-19 emerging.
“We allege that the statements made by Lorna Jane gave the impression that the Covid-19 claims were based on scientific or technological evidence when this was not the case … We are particularly concerned about this because consumers trust well-known brands and assume that their marketing claims are backed by solid evidence,” commissioner Court said.
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