FTC settles another deceptive ad case


FTC / Federal Trade CommissionIf a company is going to claim that its wares are made in  the USA, it had better be able to back up that claim – and the claim better refer not just to the finished products, but to all of the components of the finished product.

The company, E.K. Ekcessories, is a marketer of outdoor items, including iPhone accessories, bottle holders, lens cleaners, dog collars and leashes, among other things.

According to the FTC, its products were advertised as “Made in the U.S.A” or “Truly Made in the USA” despite containing substantial elements of foreign origin.

The FTC cited two website claims: “For 28 years E.K. Ekcessories has been producing superior quality made accessories in our 60,000 sq. ft. facility in Logan, Utah;” and “Our source of pride and satisfaction abounds from a true ‘Made in USA’ product.”

FTC continued, “In fact, the company imports many of its products and components, according to the complaint. The FTC also alleged that the company distributed deceptive promotional materials for its products to third-party retailers such as Amazon and REI.”

The FTC cited applicable US reglations pertaining to this case: “According to the Commission’s 1997 U.S. Origin Claims Enforcement Policy Statement, for a product to be advertised or labeled as ‘Made in the U.S.A,’ the product must be ‘all or virtually all’ made in the United States – that is, all significant parts and processing must be of U.S. origin, and the product should contain no (or negligible) foreign content.:

Under terms of the settlement, the company must refrain from such claims in the future and must inform all distributors who received its products between January 1, 2010 and May 1, 2013 of the settlement.