Online retailer, Boohoo, has been reprimanded by the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) again after it was found to be advertising a jumper as “faux fur” which had pom poms that were in fact made from real fur.
The advert stated the item of clothing on sale was a “faux fur pom pom jumper”, however the ASA said it “understood that the pom poms were real fur”, expressing concern that the advert could be “misleading”.
Boohoo replied to the ASA’s challenge by saying that it “had a strong commitment against the sale of real fur in any of their products”. The company said it had “robust policies” in order to adhere to its fur commitment, and said it was their understanding that the product did not contain real fur.
The online retailer said it had obtained the fur from an “external UK-based supplier”, who were aware of Boohoo’s fur commitments and had signed an acknowledgement form committing to not supplying products containing real fur. Boohoo said it had tested the product and it passed, meaning that no further tests were carried out.
Humane Society International, purchased a sample of the item for testing and found that the pom poms on the jumper did contain traces of real fur, thought to be rabbit. As a result of the findings, Boohoo removed the jumper from sale and stopped orders for more stock of the item.
Despite Boohoo removing the item, the ASA still said that it considered the advert “misleading” as the Humane Society tests had proved that there were traces of real fur, meaning the company had breached its code.
The ASA told Boohoo that the ad “must not appear again in the form complained about” and “not to state that products included ‘faux fur’, if that was not the case”.
The ASA said in a statement: “We acknowledged that Boohoo had removed the product from sale following receipt of the complaint. We also acknowledged that they had quality control procedures in place to identify real animal fur, though we understood they did not retain detailed reports on the tested stock other than to say that it had passed those tests.
“Boohoo’s records showed that a sample of fur from the product in question had passed internal tests. However, given that we had seen evidence that the product obtained by Humane Society International contained real animal fur, we concluded that the ad was misleading and breached the Code.”
Just last month, the retailer was found to be “breaking rules around sales promotions” over its ‘countdown clock’ promotions.