Retail company fined $ 630,000 for false advertising of essential health products
Mosaic Brands owns several fashion brands including Katies, Noni B, Rockmans, Rivers, BeMe, Crossroads, Millers, W. Lane and Autograph.
The company received five notices of violation after falsely claiming that several of its hand sanitizers, including Air Clean and Miaoyue sanitizer, contained more than 70% alcohol.
Sample testing by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found that Air Clean disinfectant contained as little as 17% alcohol, while Miaoyue disinfectant contained 58% alcohol.
Their Velcare disinfectant was also advertised as approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), but the ACCC judged this to be incorrect.
According to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, hand sanitizer must contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective against viruses such as COVID-19.
Products based on WHO formulas must contain at least 80 percent ethanol or 75 percent isopropyl alcohol.
A KN95 child safety face mask was also sold, claiming to be “FDA / CE certified,” but the ACCC said it was not.
Although buyers have misled the quality and effectiveness of the products, consumers have been told the products are non-refundable, in violation of Australian consumer warranty laws.
In addition to paying the fine, Mosaic Brands has agreed to reimburse hundreds of customers who have purchased any of the products listed.
The company has since apologized to consumers, saying it is “deeply disappointed” by the incident.
“These items were advertised for a short time and were immediately taken off sale when the issue was identified,” Mosaic Brands said in a statement to nine.com.au.
“The Group then quickly took corrective measures against the supplier regarding this matter.
“We are deeply disappointed that a small number of our customers nationwide have sold these items.
“Mosaic agrees and accepts ACCC’s decision. We apologize to these clients without reservation.”