Estée Lauder extends counterfeit case with Target with Bobbi Brown accusation

By Andrew MCDOUGALL

- Last updated on GMT

So the counterfeit case continues. Estée Lauder has launched another attack on Target Australia; this time accusing it of selling counterfeit Bobbi Brown products.

A little over a month ago the US-based cosmetics giant initially alleged that Target was selling fake cosmetics under its MAC brand​, in its stores.

Now, the retailer finds itself back in Federal Court after Estée Lauder expanded its case to include sale of Bobbi Brown products too.

Lawyers for the cosmetics maker made the announcement that they would like to include the alleged sale of fake Bobbi Brown make-up products in its case in court.

According to the Brisbane Times, they also said they would like to begin a separate proceeding to cover the two Australian suppliers of the fake products to Target.

Purchased in ‘good faith’

In its defence, Target has stated that both the MAC Cosmetics and Bobbi Brown make-up products were purchased in good faith from suppliers and were only sold under the genuine belief that they were real.

Until further tests and a “far more detailed analysis” has been carried out to prove the products were fake, the Australian retailer refused to comment further and would not accept the evidence at this stage.

They said there could be a “significant difference” in the quality of make-up from the same batch, given the different ways in which the samples had been manufactured, transported and stored.

The case has been postponed to November 9 for a case management conference.

It takes two…

Estée Lauder initially anounced legal action against fashion retailer Target at the start of September, accusing it of selling counterfeit cosmetics in its stores in Australia under the MAC Cosmetics brand.

In Australia, the authorised retailers for MAC are its freestanding stores, www.maccosmetics.com.au, MAC Pro stores as well as department stores Myer and David Jones, and Estée Lauder has taken legal action in order to protect its brands and distributors.

A statement on the company website said: "Target Australia is not an authorised retailer of MAC Cosmetics and we did not supply any MAC products to Target Australia.”

"We urge our customers to shop at our authorized retailers to ensure the MAC Cosmetics products they buy are authentic and meet the quality and safety standards that we promise."

Brand protection

The US-based brand confirmed its commitment to the quality of its products stating it took this matter ‘very seriously’.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission are said to be looking into the matter, and Target has defended its case, taking to its Facebook page to reassure consumers.

“Target believes the MAC product supplied to Target was sourced lawfully by a domestic supplier from a legitimate MAC wholesaler overseas.”

“Sourcing genuine product in this way, a process known as parallel importing, is not illegal in Australia and can result in significant savings for our customers. As a result, we can offer customers MAC products for 40 per cent less than other Australian retailers,”​ it said.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety, Oceania

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