Shinola’s manufacturing claims have been slapped down by the Federal Trade Commission in the US over the brand’s manufacturing claims.
The FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection wrote to Bedrock Manufacturing Company’s legal representation to inform them that the “unqualified ‘Made in USA’ or ‘Built in USA’ claims” made by both its Shinola and Filson brands would “likely suggest to consumers that products are ‘all or virtually all’ made in the United States.”
The letter points out that as 100% of the cost of materials used to make certain Shinola models is spent on purely imported materials Bedrock did not meet the FTC’s requirements. However neither does the FTC illustrate what its requirements might be for a manufacturer to use such claims.
The letter points out that Bedrock has agreed to “applying corrective hangtags and information cards to watches, bicycles, and other affected products to alert consumers to the fact that those products include significant imported content”, redesign its watch casebacks, update internet and hard copy materials and update employee training materials.
Shinola has also agreed to move away from the use of its “Where America is Made” slogan and revise its policies and procedures to “avoid future deception or mislabelling”.
While the FTC has agreed not to pursue further action in light of Bedrock’s actions, it states that it will continue to monitor the company because “certain materials presented” during the investigation “raise concerns that Bedrock may make deceptive U.S.- origin claims in the future”.
The actions are reminiscent of those taken by the FTC against Niall watches, which falsely asserted that it was selling a US-made watch.