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A £2.6 million punishment was imposed on an Australian sportswear company for stating that its anti-virus fitness clothing “eliminated”, protected people from viruses, and prevented the spread of COVID.

Lorna Jane was fined $5 million and dubbed “predatory and exploitative” by a federal judge after she claimed that its garments featured “groundbreaking technology” called LJ Shield to prevent “any infections from being transferred.”

The caption “Cure for the Spread of Covid-19? Lorna Jane Thinks So” appeared in advertisements on the brand’s website, in stores, and on Instagram.

na Jane stated that it had accepted the court’s ruling. The corporation claimed that its own supplier had fooled them.

Lorna Jane brand fined £2.6m over false COVID prevention claims

Bill Clarkson, Chief executive of Lorna Jane, said, “A trusted source sold us a product that did not perform as promised. They led us to believe the technology behind LJ Shield was being sold elsewhere in Australia, the USA, China, and Taiwan and that it was both anti-bacterial and anti-viral. We believed we were passing on a benefit to our customers.”

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) took legal action for allegedly making false and misleading statements when Lorna Jane began marketing the clothes in July last year, during the Covid pandemic.

Lorna “represented to consumers that it had a credible scientific or technological basis” for its claims when it didn’t and “tried to take advantage of the public’s fear and concern” about the devastating outbreak, according to a federal court judge’s decision issued on Friday.

“This was dreadful conduct because it involves making significant statements about public health when there was no foundation for them,” said Rod Sims, head of the ACCC.

He added: “The whole marketing campaign was based upon consumers’ desire for greater protection against the global pandemic.”

Lorna Jane brand fined £2.6m over false COVID prevention claims

Lorna Jane Clarkson, the company’s founder and chief creative officer, also stated that she authorized and approved the LJ Shield sportswear promotional material and made several false representations in a press release and an Instagram video.

She has 108 stores in Australia, as well as a few in the United States and New Zealand.

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