Boohoo has been caught advertising a jumper that contained real animal hair as being made with “faux fur”.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a complaint it received about a pom pom jumper being sold by the online retailer.
Tests by animal rights charity Humane Society International (HSI) found it contained real fur – likely to have come from a rabbit.
Boohoo said it had a strong commitment against the sale of real fur.
The ASA said it received a complaint from HSI, who claimed the advert was misleading.
The charity had bought the faux fur pom pom jumper and commissioned a test which revealed it contained real animal fur.
Boohoo said it had “robust” policies and procedures in place to ensure it didn’t sell real fur products.
It said it had received the jumpers from a supplier who was “aware of Boohoo’s commitment against the sale of real fur and had signed a supplier acknowledgement form committing to not supplying products containing real fur”.
Boohoo also said it got its quality control team to inspect a proportion of its stock that contained faux fur.
A sample of the same pom pom jumper that HSI tested was tested by Boohoo and recorded as having passed the internal checks.
Boohoo removed the advert once the complaint was received and also stopped placing orders with the supplier who gave them the jumpers.
The ASA ruled that the advert was misleading and “must not appear again in the form complained about”.
It added: “We told Boohoo.com UK Ltd not to state that products included ‘faux fur’, if that was not the case.”
Claire Bass, executive director of HSI UK, said: “It’s completely unacceptable that compassionate consumers setting out to buy fake fur are being misled into buying animal fur.
“These two examples are the latest in a long list of ‘fake faux fur’ items we’ve found for sale, so we hope that the ASA’s rulings will send a strong message to the industry and make retailers work harder to give consumers confidence in avoiding cruel animal fur.”