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Thursday 23 November 2017

ASAI upholds complaint against Lidl after man discovers 'cashmere jumper' was just 3% cashmere

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An item from Lidl's LINERGY men's fashion range,
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland has upheld a complaint made against Lidl for false advertising after it was concluded a jumper advertised as 'cashmere' contained just 3% cashmere.

On Thursday, the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland’s (ASAI) independent Complaints Committee released its latest complaints bulletin, which explores all mediums including internet, print, radio, leaflets, apps and television.

The claim against Lidl was featured on the company's website as a Men's Fine Knit Cashmere Jumper from the brand's LIVERGY menswear range and was retailing for €16.99

A shopper complained to the ASAI that the "cashmere claim was unqualified; he was surprised to see from the packaging that the jumper contained only 3% cashmere."

In their investigation, Lidl said the description of a Men’s Fine Knit Cashmere Jumper was a  "a description which they considered to be true given that the item in question was fine knit and contained cashmere."

The German retailer said they "never referred to the garment as being 100% cashmere and their packaging had clearly stated the percentage of cashmere it contained."

As part of their response to the investigation, Lidl provided other examples where they described items - including a Cashmere Throw and Lambswool Jumper - which contained 20% cashmere and 50% lambswool, respectively.

Lidl maintain that they "had not at any point misled their customers. They considered the description of their product to be fair and accurate, particularly given the item’s packaging and price point."

The complaint was upheld and they have been ordered not to have their advertising appear in the same format again.

In a statement to Independent.ie, a spokesperson for Lidl said: "In December 2016, our leaflet contained details of the 'Livergy Men's Fine Knit Cashmere Jumper ', a description we considered appropriate for items containing such materials. Packaging stated the percentage of cashmere contained in the garment which we felt was clear.

"All feedback we have received from the ASAI has been taken very seriously and guidelines provided will be fully adhered to in future messaging."

Lidl began its first foray into fashion in 2014 and continues to expand its bargain-basement collections every season.

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