Mosaic Brands has been issued a fine of $630,000 for misleading the public about its hand sanitiser and face masks between March and June 2020. The ACCC has issued five infringement notices to the Company.
The ACCC has reported that Mosaic Brands must pay penalties of $630,000 for misleading the public during the height of the pandemic. The Group, which houses brands like Autograph, Noni B and Rivers, said the Air Clean hand sanitiser was 70 percent alcohol.
Furthermore, it also sold hand sanitiser from Miayue, claiming it contained 75 percent alcohol. A sample from the ACCC found that Air Clean sanitiser only contained 17 percent alcohol, and the Miayue sanitiser only contained 58 percent.
According to the Department of Health Therapeutic Goods Administration, hand sanitisers must contain a minimum of 60 percent alcohol to be approved. In November 2020, the Australian government passed new regulations in regards to hand sanitiser that requires consistent labelling.
The ACCC also found that the Velcare-branded hand sanitisers were listed as ‘WHO-approved’ (World Health Organisation) when they weren’t. The products based on WHO formulas must contain at least 80 percent ethanol or 75 percent isopropyl alcohol to be approved.
“After a complaint from CHOICE, independent testing of the hand sanitisers commissioned by the ACCC found that one of the sanitisers tested contained an alcohol content of 17 percent and another had an alcohol content of 58 percent, below the percentage advertised on Mosaic Brands’ websites in each case,” said Delia Rickard, the Deputy Chair of the ACCC. “This was also below the minimum 60 percent alcohol concentration recommended by Australian health authorities.”
Example of the hand sanitiser being advertised as ‘WHO-Approved’ on Rivers | via ACCC
The ACCC has also branded Mosaic Brands with an infringement about its KN95 Kids Safety Face Mask, citing it was not ‘CE/FDA certified’ by European and US standard authorities as they had advertised.
“Businesses must never mislead their customers about the certification, quality or properties of their products, but we were particularly concerned about the representations by Mosaic Brands because the statements which Mosaic Brands has admitted were false or misleading related to certain protective health properties at the time of a global pandemic,” said Rickard.
Over the course of three months, Mosaic Brands will identify and contact the consumers who:
- purchased sanitiser in the same batches as the samples which tested below advertised alcohol concentrations to arrange a refund of the purchase price;
- purchased the KN95 Kids Safety face masks to arrange a refund of the purchase price; or
- were originally refused a refund on the basis the product was non-refundable, and invite them to have their refund re-assessed.
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