(NEW YORK) – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that Agape Diamonds, LLC modify its advertising by clearly and consciously disclosing the origin of its simulated diamonds and laboratory-grown diamonds (LGDs).
The claims at issue were challenged by the Natural Diamond Council, an association of diamond companies that primarily deal in mined natural diamonds. Agape is an online retailer and manufacturer of LGDs and simulants, as well as a seller of some loose natural diamonds.
LGDs are artificially produced and have similar physical and chemical characteristics to natural diamonds. Simulants such as zircons, cubic zirconia, and moissanite are stones that resemble or are manufactured to look like diamonds but have different physical, chemical, and optical properties than mined diamonds. Simulants, whether mined or manufactured, are visually distinctive from mined diamonds and LGDs and are more susceptible to scratches and abrasions.
The Natural Diamond Council argued that Agape’s marketing, including its presentation of its products for sale on its website, violates the Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) Jewelry Guides because it does not clearly and conspicuously disclose the origin of the stones.
In response to the challenge, Agape modified its advertising across its website and social media. NAD reviewed Agape’s modified advertising and concluded that its disclosures of the origin of its stones in much of the modified advertising are effective and consistent with the FTC Jewelry Guides. NAD determined, however, that other online advertising from Agape does not include clear and conspicuous disclosure of the stone’s origin.
Therefore, to the extent not already reflected in its advertising, NAD recommended that all Agape advertising include the appropriate description (e.g., “Simulated” or “Lab Grown”) immediately preceding the word “diamond” or “stone” with equal conspicuousness so as to clearly disclose the nature and origin of the product and the fact that it is not a mined gemstone, consistent with the FTC Jewelry Guides, including in advertising where images of items are used with or without any descriptive text.
In its advertiser statement, Agape stated that it will comply with NAD’s recommendations and that it is “committed to accurate and truthful advertising, as recommended by NAD and as codified in the federal regulations and enforced by the FTC.”
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