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Popular activewear brand Lorna Jane is being taken to court by the consumer watchdog for allegedly falsely claiming its clothes could eliminate Covid-19 and stop it spreading.
In July the company claimed its “anti-virus” activewear had been sprayed with a substance called LJ Shield, which protected people against pathogens.
Advertisements on the brand’s website, stores and on Instagram used the tag “Cure for the Spread of COVID-19? Lorna Jane Thinks So”.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched federal court action against Lorna Jane for allegedly making false and misleading clams.
ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said it was “particularly concerning” the claims were made at a time when there were fears of a second wave in Australia, especially Victoria.
“We allege 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,” Court said.
“We are particularly concerned about this because consumers often trust well-known brands and assume that their marketing claims are backed up by solid evidence.”
In July Lorna Jane was fined $40,000 by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for failing to seek correct approval for the ads.
Other lines on ads included: “With Lorna Jane Shield on our garments it meant that we were completely eliminating the possibility of spreading any deadly viruses.”
The ACCC says most of the claims were removed in mid July but tags on clothing continued to contain the pathogen protective claims until November.
It is also alleged company director Lorna Jane Clarkson was “knowingly concerned” in the conduct and made false or misleading claims about the activewear in a media release and video.
Lorna Jane has 108 stores in Australia, plus several international stores, including in the US and New Zealand.
Lorna Jane said it had assisted the ACCC with its investigation and was extremely disappointed about the legal action.
“We will be defending ourselves in the federal court against the commission’s allegations,” a spokeswoman said in a statement.
After the TGA fine in July, the company said in a statement it was not trying to claim the clothing was a cure for Covid-19: “We are not saying LJ Shield will stop you coming into contact with bacteria, we are saying LJ Shield is an added protection like hand sanitiser but for the clothes you wear.”
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Lorna Jane taken to court over alleged claims its activewear is ‘anti-virus’ | Australia news