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article imageJ.C. Penney one of four stores sued over misleading advertising

By Karen Graham     Dec 9, 2015 in Business
Four national retailers are in the hot seat because of misleading and deceptive advertising, according to charges filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Today.
The FTC announced charges and proposed court orders that would bar four national retailers from mislabeling and advertising rayon textile products as being "made of bamboo," and requires them to pay civil penalties totalling $1.3 million.
The textile products in question are being advertised as containing bamboo and bamboo fibers when they actually contain rayon. Street Insider is reporting that under the court order that settling the FTC's charges, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. will pay $500,000; Nordstrom, Inc. will pay $360,000; J.C. Penney Company, Inc. will pay $290,000; and Backcountry.com LLC will pay $150,000 for allegedly violating the FTC Act and the FTC's textile rules.
Reuters singled out J.C. Penny because, according to the FTC, there have been "numerous instances" where deceptive advertising was used in describing products like men's socks, pillow shams and bath rugs as containing bamboo. Under the federal government's Textile Fiber Products Identification Act, the products should have been marketed as containing rayon.
In the case of J.C. Penny, it first received a warning letter from the FTC back in 2010 about the marketing of their advertised products as containing bamboo, but after receiving the letter, they continued to advertise the products incorrectly. It should be noted that the other three national retailers also received warning letters from the FTC in 2010, according to Street Insider.
All four complaints are identical with the exception of the civil penalties laid out. In part, the complaints say, "Consumers have suffered and will continue to suffer substantial injury as a result of defendant's violations." The DOJ filed the complaints in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on December 9, 2015.
More about misleading advertising, four national retailers, bamboo fibers, Rayon, FTC
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