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March 20, 2013

HSUS Fur Investigations Produce Sanction of Neiman Marcus

Yesterday, The Federal Trade Commission announced an enforcement action against Neiman Marcus and two other retailers for misrepresenting animal fur to consumers by advertising it as “faux fur” on their websites. We applaud the FTC for this action and for its continued attention to fur labeling laws, and we urge them to stay on the case until people who wish to avoid animal fur no longer have to worry about buying “faux” and getting raccoon dog. The agency’s action was covered by The New York Times, The Washington Post, CBS News and others, and sends a strong message to the fur industry that it cannot get away with falsely advertising and falsely labeling animal fur. 

Garment with real fur advertised as faux fur
The HSUS
One of the garments addressed by the FTC enforcement
action that contained real fur advertised as faux.

The FTC’s enforcement action responds to many of the articles of misrepresented clothing documented by The HSUS and turned over to the agency in a 2011 legal petition. And for those who have been following our work to stop the misrepresentation of animal fur, this was just the latest in a long list of problems our investigators have turned up.

While the list of problems is indeed long, we have seen those findings translate into corporate policy changes. Just last week, I blogged that Sears Holdings Corporation, the parent company for Sears and Kmart, agreed to go fur-free on its Marketplace at Sears.com. And this comes on the heels of international coverage of our investigation into multiple animal fur garments being offered by the popular New York retailer, Century 21 Department Store, in violation of state and federal fur labeling laws. The undercover investigation included raccoon dog fur being sold as “faux fur” on a Marc Jacobs jacket. In previous years, a number of major brand name companies – including Tommy Hilfiger, Rocawear, Talbots and True Religion Brand Jeans – decided to halt their purchases of any fur garments as a result of our investigations.

With your help, we will continue to be a watchdog against fraudulent fur selling practices, and alert enforcement officials to the consumer deception we sniff out. Arm yourself with knowledge by learning how to tell real fur from fake fur.

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