Ugg boots retailer Ozwear pays penalty for alleged false ‘Australian-made’ claim

By @chelean on
Ugg Boots_Ozwear
Ozwear Connection has paid a total of $25,200 in penalties following complaints issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). ACCC

An Australian Ugg boots retailer has been forced to pay penalties for allegedly falsely claiming that the country of origin of its products was Australia. Ozwear Connection has paid a total of $25,200 in penalties following complaints issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

According to the ACCC, Ozwear claimed on its website that it was “100% Aussie owned” between at least January and April 2018. Its “Classic Ugg” range was said to be made using “the best materials available in Australia.” The consumer watchdog also said prior to May 2018, the company attached a green and gold tag shaped like the map of Australia and included the words “this exclusive premium label is uniquely Australian owned brand for authentic Australian Ugg boots.”

However, the ACCC claimed that the footwear wholesaler created a false impression that its Classic Ugg footwear were made in Australia when they were actually made in China.

“Ozwear’s conduct is unacceptable. Under the Australian Consumer Law, businesses are prohibited from making claims that create a false impression about products being made in Australia,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said. “Country of origin representations can be a powerful marketing tool for businesses, as many consumers are willing to pay extra for Australian-made products.

“When false or misleading representations are made about a product being Australian-made, consumers may end up paying more for no reason at all and businesses who are genuinely making their products in Australia lose out.”

Ozwear’s payment of the penalty does not mean it has admitted to a contravention of the Australian Consumer Law or the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. The ACCC can issue an infringement notice when it has reasonable grounds to believe a business contravened provisions of the CCA and the ACL.

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