Athletic apparel retailer Lorna Jane has been fined $5 million.
The fine comes as a result of claims that the company’s ‘anti-virus activewear’ had been sprayed with a substance said to protect the wearer against pathogens.
During promotion for the activewear, Lorna Jane was using the tag ‘Cure for the spread of COVID-19? Lorna Jane thinks so’. Eventually, court action was launched by the Australian Competition And Consumer Commission (ACCC) against Lorna Jane for making false and misleading claims.
“Lorna Jane falsely promoted its LJ Shield Activewear as eliminating or providing protection from COVID amidst growing numbers of COVID-19 cases in Australia,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in a statement.
Image - ACCC.gov.au – in-store Lorna Jane advertising in July 2020
“The whole marketing campaign was based upon consumers’ desire for greater protection against the global pandemic.”
The company admitted that its founder Lorna Jane Clarkson authorised and approved the ‘LJ Shield’ promotional material. The marketing circulated throughout the month of July in 2020. The investigations began shortly after and the company were forced to pull the campaign. There are currently 108 Lorna Jane stores throughout Australia.