National active goods retailer Lorna Jane and her founder are on trial over a range of leggings and sports tops that she claimed could protect their wearer from the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 virus.
The Australian Competition and Consumers Commission (ACCC) said Monday it had brought proceedings against the popular brand in federal court because the allegations were false, misleading and contrary to consumer law.
Lorna Jane Clarkson’s Lorna Jane brand is facing trial over a series of allegedly misleading claims that their clothing would protect wearers from COVID-19. Photo credit: Karleen Minney
Lorna Jane released its « Anti-Virus Activewear » range in July and said it had been sprayed with a substance called « LJ Shield, » which provides protection against viruses and pathogens like COVID-19.
The brand promoted the range with slogans such as « Cure for the spread of COVID-19? Lorna Jane thinks so », claiming that by wearing the clothing, customers would « completely eliminate the possibility of deadly viruses spreading ». .
The ACCC claims the claims are false, saying Lorna Jane did not conduct any tests to back them up. It is alleged that company founder Lorna Jane Clarkson was knowingly involved in the alleged conduct alleged in a media release and an Instagram video promoting the range.
« We claim that Lorna Jane’s testimony created the impression that the COVID-19 allegations were based on scientific or technological evidence when it was not, » said ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court.
« It is particularly worrying that supposedly misleading claims that Lorna Jane’s LJ Shield activewear could prevent the spread of COVID-19 were made at a time when fears of a second wave hit Australia, particularly Victoria, and all Australians insisted were concerned about exposure to the virus. «
The majority of Lorna Jane’s allegations about the active clothing were removed in mid-July after the company was awarded a 40% breach of contract by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. $ 000 had been charged. .
At the time, a company spokesperson was defending the range, saying it was « not trying to take advantage of COVID-19 » and it was not trying to mislead customers.
However, the ACCC claims that the range continued to be sold through at least November with clothing labels claiming the clothing would permanently protect the wearer from pathogens.
« We are particularly concerned about this because consumers often trust well-known brands and assume that their marketing claims are backed by solid evidence, » said Court.
In a statement, a spokeswoman said Lorna Jane was aware that the ACCC had initiated legal proceedings against the company and that Ms. Clarkson was « disappointed » with the move.
« So far, we have supported the Commission in its investigation and we are extremely disappointed that the Commissioner has decided to take legal action. We will defend ourselves against the Commission’s allegations before the federal court, « said the spokesman.
The ACCC requests explanations, penalties, orders, notifications of corrections and an order to implement a compliance program.
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Lorna Jane, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Coronavirus, Sportswear
World News – AU – Lorna Jane on trial for alleged leggings could stop the spread of COVID
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