Advertising Watchdog Rules Ad Calling Fur 'Ethical' Is Misleading

The advert also claimed that fur is 'biodegradable' - with campaigners saying the soup of chemicals and dyes used to treat the fabric means it does not rot
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A mink on a fur farm

The fur industry said fur is 'ethical' (Photo: Oikeutta Eäimille)

The French advertising watchdog has ruled that a fur advert - which describes fur as 'ethical' and 'biodegradable' - is misleading.

The French Board of Advertising Ethics (Jury de déontologie publicitaire, or JDP) also said the ad by the International Fur Federation (IFF) is in violation of standards of advertising ethics.

The ruling follows a complaint lodged by vegan charity PETA France.

Vegan complaint

"After PETA France pointed out that 85 percent of fur comes from animals who spend their lives in tiny wire cages on fur farms before being killed by gassing or anal or genital electrocution, the JDP ruled that it's deceptive for the IFF to claim that fur is 'ethical'," PETA said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.

The charity also noted that fur production relies on both animal agriculture - one of the leading causes of climate change - and harmful chemicals. It cited a study showing that a mink-fur coat is 10 times as polluting as a faux-fur coat

"In response, the JDP ruled that the IFF's claims about fur's supposed eco-friendliness were unsubstantiated and too vague and thus in violation of the 'principles of fairness and truthfulness' set by the International Chamber of Commerce's advertising codes," PETA said.

When it came to the claim that fur is 'biodegradable', PETA said the chemicals used to treat it diminishes its biodegradable properties. The JDP also found fault with this claim by the IFF.

PETA goes behind the scenes of the leather and fur trade

'Fur - a dying trade'

"We're seeing the last gasps of a dying trade: the International Fur Federation's misleading campaign is a desperate attempt by the fur industry to delay its inevitable demise, as brands and shoppers increasingly turn their backs on it," PETA France's Cyril Ernst

"PETA is warning fur peddlers that they can't lie to consumers about the suffering and pollution generated by their industry."

A number of leading designers have ditched fur in recent times, including Versace, Armani, Gucci, Burberry, and Jean Paul Gaultier.