Clothing designer and retailer WORLD has accepted it likely breached the Fair Trading Act, and has given undertakings to the Commerce Commission, following its misleading use of the phrase 'Fabrique en Nouvelle-Zelande' on some of its swing tags.
WORLD attached the swing tags to around 1100 tshirts, sweatshirts and sweatpants that were made in China or Bangladesh.
After initially suggesting that the labels weren't misleading because the labels themselves were made in New Zealand, the Commerce Commission investigated the matter.
WORLD has now accepted the Commissioner's view that the labels were likely to mislead customers about the place of origin of the goods. This is a breach of the Fair Trading Act.
WORLD has now given undertakings that it will not use the phrase in relation to any goods not manufactured in New Zealand, will have compliance procedures in place to ensure its claims about goods' origins are correct, and will refund any customers who were misled.
This case is a timely reminder that the Fair Trading Act requires that all claims made about a product, including its origin, be truthful, fair and accurate, and can be substantiated.
As the Commerce Commission itself puts it - if you can't back it up, don't say it.