West Elm owner fined for misleading marketing

US-based home furnishings group Williams-Sonoma, parent company of West Elm, has reached a settlement over misleading marketing claims.

American market regulator Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has fined Williams-Sonoma $1m for false ‘Made in the USA’ marketing.

Last year, Williams-Sonoma was subject to a complaint ad watchdog truthinadvertising.org (TINA.org) over misleading adverting on certain products that were Chinese-made and marketed as ‘Crafted in America’.

“We are pleased that the FTC saw fit to hold Williams-Sonoma accountable for its most recent deceptive made in the USA marketing campaigns,” said TINA.org Executive Director Bonnie Patten.

“However, given that it had annual revenue approaching $6 billion in 2019, it is unlikely that the $1 million fine will have any sort of deterrent effect on the company. Consumers who want to buy made in the USA products must remain ever vigilant to ensure that they are not misled by such deceptive marketing claims.”