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Archived — Paint products company agrees to end alleged misleading environmental and Made in Canada claims

OTTAWA, August 31, 2010 — The Competition Bureau has reached an agreement with a U.S. paint products company that will put a stop to its allegedly misleading claims. The company included environmental and implicit "Made in Canada" claims on its painting kit, which raised concerns under the false or misleading representations and deceptive marketing practices provisions of the Competition Act and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act.

The company claimed its product was made of biodegradable material, noting that this biodegradability may be affected depending on conditions of use or disposal. Under the Bureau's enforcement guidelines entitled "Environmental Claims: A Guide for Industry and Advertisers", claims of biodegradability should not be made if a product releases any substances in concentrations harmful to the environment during disposal or the degradation process.

In addition, the company prominently displayed maple leaves on the product's label, conveying the impression that it was made in Canada when, in fact, only one of the four pieces in the paint kit was made in Canada.

In response to the Bureau's concerns, the company has instructed its Canadian retailer to remove the product from store shelves, replacing it with a new kit that does not make the allegedly misleading environmental or implicit "Made in Canada" claims. The company will also remove all environmental claims from products sold in Canada that could raise concerns under the false or misleading representations provisions of the Competition Act and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act.


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