It has been determined that Lorna Jane Pty Ltd, which manufactures and retails women’s activewear, has received a $3.7 million fine. During the height of the pandemic, the business asserted that its product might prevent coronavirus disease (Covid-19) from occurring.
- Lorna Jane Pty Ltd, which manufactures and sells women’s activewear, had advertised that its ‘LJ Shield Activewear’ has a ‘groundbreaking technology’ to eliminate the virus when it comes into contact with the fabric.
- An Australian competition regulator initiated proceedings against the company in December 2020 for alleged false and misleading claims.
- LornaJane was ordered to pay $3.7 million by the federal court in its ruling.
At the height of the coronavirus epidemic in Australia, an athleisure clothing chain was fined $3.7 million for making fraudulent claims about its garment’s ability to prevent coronavirus disease (Covid-19). A product called ‘LJ Shield Activewear’ was advertised by Lorna Jane Pty Ltd, which manufactures and sells women’s activewear. The company claimed that its product, which it called ‘LJ Shield Activewear’, used ‘groundbreaking technology’ to eliminate the virus when it came into contact with the fabric.
The company claimed in their marketing campaign that a material known as the “Lorna Jane Shield” could be sprayed on its sportswear and would effectively remove all viruses, including the virus known as Covid-19. It asserted that the substance attaches permanently to the garments, making the ‘transfer of infections’ to the garments impossible.
In December 2020, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) filed proceedings against Lorna Jane for claimed false and misleading representations, as well as against the company’s co-founder Lorna Jane Clarkson for alleged involvement in the conduct with knowledge of the facts. Lorna Jane was forced to pay $3.7 million by a federal court in its verdict for making false and deceptive statements to consumers, which the court described as ‘exploitative, predatory, and potentially deadly.’
As the judge pointed out, the company’s actions in this particular case were ordered by Ms Clarkson and emanated from a “high administrative level inside the organization.” The corporation acknowledged that Lorna Jane Clarkson was engaged in the creation of the language and design of the visual used in the marketing campaign, and that she made fraudulent representations about activewear in an Instagram video posted by the company.
According to Rod Sims, chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the conduct was ‘dreadful’ since it involved making significant assertions about public health when there was no evidence to support them.
This type of behaviour is particularly dangerous when customers are unable to easily verify or monitor the claims made, as is the case here, he continued.
Lorna Jane acknowledged the court’s decision, but said that the company had been mislead by a supplier in the first place.
According to the company’s CEO, Bill Clarkson, “a trusted supplier sold us a device that did not operate as promised.” “Our suspicions were confirmed when they informed us that the technology underpinning LJ Shield was being offered overseas, including Australia, the United States, China, and Taiwan, and that it was anti-bacterial and anti-viral in nature. We were under the impression that we were providing a benefit to our clients.”
Lorna Jane has 108 outlets throughout Australia, as well as a handful of overseas stores, including those in the United States and New Zealand, according to the company’s website.