If you're wearing anything labeled as "faux fur" right now, you could totally be sporting the handsome hairs of a Chinese raccoon dog, or a koala, or a flying squirrel. And judging by the slap on the wrist the Federal Trade Commission issued to three retailers on Tuesday, there's no real incentive for purveyors of fake fur to shape up. Enter retailers Neiman Marcus, DrJays.com, and Revolve Clothing, all of which were all in trouble for advertising clothing labeled "faux fur" when, in reality, the products were lined with the furs and hairs of real, living animals. That's pretty egregious, considering there are people out there who make a conscious effort to avoid animal products and animal cruelty. These three companies have now been held responsible for deceptive marketing in 10 products — the AP has a breakdown of exactly what was sold.
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The punishment the three companies settled upon with the FTC on Tuesday was essentially a slap on the wrist — an agreement to abide by the Fur Act of 1951. "Under the proposed settlement, the retailers would be prohibited from violating the laws for 20 years," reports the AP. So, essentially the punishment for breaking the Fur Act laws — laws that say that you can't use false advertising when it comes to fur, that you have to tell customers where the animal fur comes from, and that you can't inappropriately label pieces of clothing — is to promise you won't break them ... again. "That's little consolation for someone who takes their animal rights seriously and finds out the faux fur hood on their Neiman Marcus jacket has been a strip of dead animal all along. But it does show why the penalty in this case is a fairly minor," writes The Wall Street Journal's Tom Gara.