Toronto-based Canada Goose Holdings Inc. is in hot water with China, which has fined the winter-apparel maker for allegedly misleading consumers about the materials it uses.
The country’s regulator, the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System, fined the company 450,000 yuan, the equivalent of about $88,202.
As first reported by Bloomberg News, a commentary in China’s state-affiliated Economic Daily newspaper Wednesday details the fine and accuses the company of flouting Chinese advertising laws.
The complaint centres on the company’s claim it uses “Hutterite down,” the warmest down available. It alleges the company uses other kinds of down in most of its products.
“The main filling is ordinary duck down, but it costs tens of thousands of yuan at every turn. Is the Canadian goose down jacket sold for warmth or IQ tax?” the commentary says.
In an emailed response to CBC News, the company said a technical error on a partner website was behind confusion about its products’ materials.
“Earlier this year a misalignment of text was found on a partner site, Tmall, in our [Asia-Pacific] region. The error was corrected immediately,” the email said.
Tmall is one of the largest online platforms for Chinese consumers.
The parka-maker said it uses both goose and duck down, depending on the construction of the garment.
Canada Goose isn’t the first foreign-owned apparel company to tangle with China about its marketing messages.
Earlier this month China fined Swedish retailer H&M 260,000 yuan ($51,000) for claims that some apparel items were exclusive to China; this after, in April, H&M came under fire for a map on its website and its depiction of China’s territory in the South China Sea.
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