August 25th, 2017
Much like the feeling one gets when gazing upon one’s own freshly mowed lawn — with the lines done just right and everything — Made in the USA claims evoke in many a confirmation of a job well done. Sprinkle in some funny dog videos and you get the marketing pitch for BigDog Mowers.
But at least when it comes to making Made in the USA claims, there are rules to follow — rules that BigDog Mowers are now more familiar with after the FTC opened an inquiry into some of the Kansas company’s unqualified U.S.-origin claims.
“During our review, we discussed concerns that certain marketing materials may have overstated the extent to which certain lawnmowers are made in the United States,” the FTC wrote in a recent closing letter to the company. “Specifically, although [BigDog Mowers] assembles mowers and performs some manufacturing functions in the United States, certain mowers incorporate significant imported content.”
The FTC’s Made in the USA standard calls for products marketed with an unqualified Made in the USA claim to be “all or virtually all” made here. Anything less and the product cannot legally bear the claim.
In response to the agency’s inquiry, BigDog Mowers implemented a plan to phase out the use of “Made in USA” decals on mowers; send notices to dealers regarding the discontinuation of the decals; delete old social media posts with problematic U.S.-origin claims; and introduce qualified claims such as “Engineered, designed and assembled in USA of US and global parts.”
But don’t worry, you can still watch those funny dog videos over on the company’s Facebook page.
Find more of our coverage on Made in the USA claims here.