French Advertising Board Rules: Fur Ad is Misleading

For Immediate Release:

29 November 2018


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]


Decision Follows PETA France Complaint Highlighting That Fur Production Is Cruel and Environmentally Harmful


Paris – Following a PETA France complaint, the French Board of Advertising Ethics (Jury de déontologie publicitaire, or JDP) has ruled that an ad campaign by the International Fur Federation (IFF) is misleading and in violation of standards of advertising ethics for the following reasons:

  • After PETA France pointed out that 85 per cent of fur comes from animals who spend their lives in tiny wire cages on fur farms before being killed by gassing or anal or genital electrocution, the JDP ruled that it’s deceptive for the IFF to claim that fur is “ethical”.
  • PETA France also noted that fur production relies on both animal agriculture – one of the leading causes of climate change – and chemicals that harm the environment and human health, citing several reports, including one showing that the production of a mink-fur coat is 10 times as polluting as that of a faux-fur coat and one that found high concentrations of toxic and potentially carcinogenic substances in fur samples. In response, the JDP ruled that the IFF’s claims about fur’s supposed eco-friendliness were unsubstantiated and too vague and thus in violation of the “principles of fairness and truthfulness” set by the International Chamber of Commerce’s advertising code.
  • The JDP also found fault with the IFF’s claim that fur is “biodegradable”. As PETA France made clear, once animals have been slaughtered and skinned, their pelts are treated with a soup of chemicals and dyes. This prevents the fur from rotting in the buyer’s wardrobe but also diminishes its biodegradable properties.
  • As PETA France mentioned in its complaint, similarly deceptive ads were banned in Belgium in 2011 – for using the term “eco-friendly” – and in the UK in 2012, when the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that certain claims that fur “biodegrades” and can be “recycled easily” were misleading.

“We’re seeing the last gasps of a dying trade: the International Fur Federation’s misleading campaign is a desperate attempt by the fur industry to delay its inevitable demise, as brands and shoppers increasingly turn their backs on it,” says PETA France’s Cyril Ernst. “PETA is warning fur peddlers that they can’t lie to consumers about the suffering and pollution generated by their industry.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – notes that the number of fur-free designers is skyrocketing – Versace, Armani, Gucci, Burberry, and Jean Paul Gaultier all recently banned fur from their collections.

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