Jos. A. Bank Changes Ad After Inquiry

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Retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers will change the way it markets "on sale" items and pay a $425,000 penalty after an inquiry from the New York state attorney general's office, New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer said yesterday.


Jos. A. Bank, Hampstead, MD, claimed its products would be offered at lower than their regular price for a short period when many items were "on sale" continually for 18 months, Spitzer said. The retailer marketed its sales and products through direct mail, e-mail, Internet, print, radio, television ads and in-store promotions.


The ads were potentially misleading because the sale prices offered involved little or no discounting, Spitzer said. For example, during an 18-month period, Jos. A. Bank sold less than 1 percent of its Signature, Executive and Trio suits at the "regular price," according to Spitzer.


The suits were "on sale" for all but a few days, Spitzer said. As part of the settlement, Jos. A. Bank agreed to avoid promoting items at a discount unless the items previously have been offered at a higher price for a substantial period.


The retailer also will pay $50,000 to the state for investigative costs. Jos. A. Bank operates more than 200 retail stores nationwide.


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