We'll call this one a faux pas.
Dallas-based luxury goods retailer Neiman Marcus has agreed to pay a $25,000 judgment after a Washington, D.C. court found that the company falsely advertised several coats containing Asian raccoon dog fur as laboratory-produced faux fur, violating consumer protection laws.
The suit was filed in 2008 by the Humane Society against retailers Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's and Lord & Taylor and against manufacturer Andrew Marc. Marc and Lord & Taylor settled the claims last year, and last week Saks Fifth Avenue reached an out-of-court agreement with the Humane Society pledging stricter labeling, support for a fur-labeling law in Congress and a payment of $6,500 to cover the animal rights group's costs to purchase the coats and test the fur. Macy's is still a defendant in the case.
Ralph Henry, an attorney with the Humane Society, told the Dallas Morning News, "Consumers were fooled by those ads. Now by virtue of this lawsuit, they'll know what the coat contains," Henry said.