The advertising for the product included slogans such as: “Cure for the spread of COVID-19? Lorna Jane thinks so”, “With Lorna Jane Shield on our clothes, it meant we were completely eliminating the possibility of spreading deadly viruses” and ” LJ Shield – Protecting you with ANTI-VIRUS ACTIVEWEAR “.
The ACCC alleges that the claims were not based on scientific evidence and that the company’s founder, Lorna Jane Clarkson, was knowingly involved in the alleged conduct over the claims she made in a press release and video posted on the account of Lorna Jane’s Instagram.
“It is particularly concerning that the allegedly misleading claims that Lorna Jane’s LJ Shield Activewear could eliminate the spread of COVID-19 were made at a time when there was fear of a second wave emerging in Australia, especially Victoria, and all Australians were concerned about being exposed to the virus, “said ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court.
“We allege that Lorna Jane’s statements gave the impression that the COVID-19 claims were based on scientific or technological evidence when this was not the case.”
At the time, a company spokesperson defended the range, saying it was “not trying to cash in” on the coronavirus.
“We were developing this and working with our partners on this prior to the outbreak, and we are not charging our customers for this technology,” said a spokesperson for Lorna Jane.
“This is something we are doing because we believe in it and we want to protect our customers in any way that we can.”
The ACCC says that most of the claims were removed in mid-July, but claims that the garment permanently protected wearers against pathogens were represented on some garment labels until November.
Lorna Jane has already been fined $ 39,960 by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for the advertising.
The company has 108 stores in Australia, as well as a number of international stores, including those in the US and New Zealand.