United States: Learn more about the FTC’s “Made In The USA”
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In May, the Federal Trade Commission closed two investigations related to “Made in USA” allegations by traders. Here’s a quick recap.
Alpha brewing operations
In a May 6 letter to Alpha Brewing Operations, the FTC expressed concern that the company may have overestimated the extent to which some of its beer canning lines are made in the United States. The FTC explained that even if a product does not meet the FTC’s “Made in USA” standard, a merchant can still claim that a particular manufacturing process was performed in the United States or that a particular part. was made here.
The FTC – which has not often given guidance on how to use alternative terms (other than “assembled”) – has stated, for example, that “a trader may be able to substantiate an unsuccessful claim. misleading that a product of foreign origin is the product “designed” in the United States. ” The FTC, however, warned that even making a “made in the United States” claim, the distributor should not imply that the product is of American origin.
In the end, the FTC decided not to take action against Alpha Brewing, based (among other things) on the fact that the company has removed all of its claims of American origin unreservedly from all of its marketing materials and informed its resellers and its change staff.
In a May 6 letter to GhostBed, the FTC expressed two sets of concerns. First, the FTC has said that some of GhostBed’s marketing materials may have overstated the extent to which all of its products are made in the United States. The FTC explained that, “although some GhostBed products are imported or contain imported components, GhostBed ran advertisements on Google stating that the products were ‘Made in America’ and included unqualified ‘Made in USA’ claims. on social media accounts. “(Note, here, how the FTC highlights the fact that it reviews ads in small spaces as well as a company’s social media posts.) Second, the FTC has stated that some of GhostBed’s marketing materials may not comply with the Textile Product Identification Act and Textile Rules, which require traders to disclose the origin of the product in certain types of advertising material.
The FTC told GhostBed it was appropriate to promote the fact that it employs workers in the United States and offers a line of American-made mattresses and pillows. The FTC, however, cautioned that GhostBed’s marketing materials that promote imported products or products containing imported components must not overestimate the extent to which its products are manufactured in the United States, and must include, were required by law. and textile rules, the appropriate country – origin disclosures.
In order to comply with Section 5 of the FTC Act, as well as the Textile Law and Rules, GhostBed implemented a corrective action plan, which included: (1) removing general claims and unqualified US-origin advertisements, including Google and Facebook advertisements and social media posts; (2) the implementation of a quarterly employee training program; (3) improving the examination of claims of US origin; (4) work with affiliate partners to update and correct complaints; (5) terminate non-compliant partners; and (6) ensure that the “mail order advertisement” contains the required original information. And, again, in light of GhostBed’s turnaround efforts, the FTC has decided not to take action against the company.
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