U.S. FTC Seeks Public Comment on Leather Guidelines

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has opened a public consultation on the future of the Leather Guides. Issued on February 6, 2019, the FTC will accept comments for sixty days on whether there is a continued need for the guides covering Select Leather and Imitation Leather Products (Leather Guides).

As part of this process, the Commission is also asking stakeholders:

  • If deceptive or unfair advertising and marketing practices are being used to sell leather and imitation leather products
  • Whether the Leather Guides should be expanded to cover products not currently included – e.g., automotive and furniture upholstery products

The Leather Guides were published in 1996 to guide the rules governing labeling for leather and imitation leather products. They address misrepresentations about the composition and characteristics of specific leather and imitation leather products and require all non-leather content that appears to be leather to be so identified.

The guidelines apply to the manufacture, promotion, and distribution of leather and imitation leather purses, luggage, wallets, footwear, and similar products, with the intention that false information or deceptive practices are not being used to sell products, and to promote truthful, non-misleading advertising to consumers.