‘Plastic’ carpet claims heading to court
Carpet manufacturer Godfrey Hirst challenges Bremworth over potentially misleading advertising claims.
Carpet manufacturer Bremworth’s latest advertising campaign claims: “The average Kiwi home with synthetic carpet is similar to having 22,000 plastic bags on the floor by weight.”
Rival manufacturer – of both wool and synthetic carpets – Godfrey Hirst alleges this is a misleading claim under the Fair Trading Act (FTA). It claims the environmental impact of synthetic carpet in the home is less than the environmental impact of 22,000 plastic bags. It also claims synthetic carpet doesn’t have a significant, negative impact on the environment.
In July 2020, Bremworth announced it was ditching synthetic fibres and going wool-only for its carpets. In the transition to wool, it dropped the “Cavalier” from its former name Cavalier Bremworth, the carpet operation of the Cavalier Corporation.
By transitioning to wool, Bremworth claims “embracing nature can make a world of difference to the wellbeing of people and the planet”.
Godfrey Hirst alleges this statement is also misleading. It argues wool carpet is not better or safer for the environment than synthetic. It also alleges that, in switching from synthetic to wool carpet, Bremworth isn’t “materially reducing its environmental impact”.
Godfrey Hirst also alleges that Bremworth’s claims create the impression that synthetic carpets shed microplastics. It argues this is misleading because microplastics are not shed under normal use.
This is the latest legal stoush between the two companies.
In 2013, Godfrey Hirst took Cavalier Bremworth to court over warranty claims made in its advertising of a new synthetic carpet range. Cavalier Bremworth was found to have breached the FTA because of two misleading warranty statements on its website and instore marketing.
This latest litigation is expected to be heard in the High Court next year.
We’ll keep you posted on the result.