UPDATED AT 3:05 pm
The Neiman Marcus Group Inc. and two other retailers have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they deceived consumers by claiming certain products contained fake fur when in fact the fur was real.
The FTC alleged that the retailers falsely claimed that genuine fur trim on coats and shoes was "faux," in violation of the Fur Products Labeling Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act.
For example, Neiman on its website described a $1,295 cardinal red Burberry Outerwear Jacket as featuring a "Black faux-fur hood with snap-tab detail." The label on the actual coat, however, disclosed that the fur is real.
Another ad for a Weitzman Ballerina Flat ($325) claimed that the shoe had a "Faux fur (cotton/viscose) pom on round toe." In yet another ad, the same shoe was billed as having a "dyed mink pouf." The shoe actually used rabbit fur.
Neiman neither admitted nor denied the allegations. The company was represented by Daniel Schwartz, a partner at Bryan Cave.
In a statement, Neiman said it "is dedicated to providing complete and accurate information to our customers....Under the agreement we have signed with the Federal Trade Commission, [Neiman] has committed to identify correctly and promote accurately the fur and faux fur products offered in our catalogs and on our websites. Neiman Marcus will continue to work closely with our vendors and the FTC to provide the transparent and accurate product information that our customers expect and deserve."
DrJays.com also settled FTC charges for allegedly misrepresenting the fur content and failing to disclose the animal name for two coats and a leather/fur vest.
Eminent Inc., doing business as Revolve Clothing, allegedly misrepresented the fur content on four products. For example, an ad for a Marc Jacobs Runway Roebling Coat said it had a "Faux fur trimmed hood" when the coat label stated the trim was "real coyote fur."
All the retailers are prohibited for 20 years from violating the Fur Act. Also, according to the FTC, the "orders provide that the respondents will not be liable for misrepresentations about fur products that they directly import if they do not embellish or misrepresent claims provided by the products' manufacturers, they do not sell the product as a private label product, and they neither know nor should have known that the product is marketed in a manner that violates the Fur Act."