Queensland, Australia—Just as many legitimate sheepskin footwear brands have been warning, not all so-called “ugg” boots are made in Australia. Some, including those sold on “discount” internet websites, aren’t really authentically Australian, they say.
Such is the case with online e-tailer Happiness Road, which sells under the name “Koala Jack.” While the company used the green and gold “Australian Made” logo on its website, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) revealed the boots were actually all made in China.
“The ACCC considers country of origin claims to be a particularly valuable marketing tool for businesses, as many consumers place a premium on goods that are Australian made,” ACCC Deputy Chair Michael Schaper said. “While the ACCC will continue to monitor advertising of this nature to ensure compliance with the Australian Consumer Law, businesses need to be aware there are many others out there watching. The chance of being caught out is extremely high.”
Despite the misleading conduct (and unauthorized use of the Australian Made logo) Happiness Road was only required to pay refunds to customers who were mislead. The company’s director will be required to undergo trade practices compliance training.
Nonetheless, consumers might be confused by the use of the term “ugg.” In the United States and most other countries in the world, “UGG” is the trademarked brand of boots owned by Deckers Outdoor Corporation. However, “ugg” is considered a generic term in Australian and New Zealand for sheepskin boots and is often used by Australian boot makers, too.
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