Marketer of Water Filtration Systems to Pay $110,000 Civil Penalty for Deceptive Made-in-USA Advertisements
Robert Gardenier | M.E. Dey & Co.
A Georgia-based distributor of water filtration systems has agreed to pay a $110,000 civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated a 2017 Federal Trade Commission administrative order by making false claims that wholly imported Chinese water filtration systems were made in the United States.
As part of the settlement, the defendants have admitted that in March 2018, iSpring Water Systems, LLC, along with company owner and officer Zhuangyong Chen and company vice president Pearl Cai, began making false claims that the water filtration systems it sells are “designed and crafted in USA.” “People should be able to trust a company’s claim that its products are made in the United States,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
The FTC’s 2017 complaint against iSpring alleged that the company deceived consumers with false, misleading, or unsupported claims that its water filtration systems and parts are “Built in USA,” “Built in USA Legendary brand of water filter,” and “Proudly Built in the USA.” In fact, according to the complaint, iSpring’s products either are wholly imported or are made using a significant amount of inputs from overseas. In addition to the civil penalty, the proposed order contains an admission of liability and requires the defendants to notify affected consumers about the case.