A case heard by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of the UK has been deemed an “important ruling” for the diamond industry.
Eco-friendly gemstone technology company Diotima & Co made a complaint against Kinetique, trading as Ethica Diamonds, and was represented by law firm Gunnercooke.
Diotima claimed that Kinetique’s diamonds were made of substitute materials and therefore an advertisement for ‘diamonds’ was misleading to consumers.
In order to reach a decision, The National Association of Jewellers’ ‘Diamond Terminology Guideline’ was referred to.
Now the claim has been upheld by the ASA with a new ruling stating that the advert in question breached multiple codes.
The ASA ruled that future advertising must ensure that “the term diamond is accompanied by an identifier to make clear the nature of the product”.
Diotima & Co, based in Cornwall, specialises in diamond alternative technologies and laboratory-grown diamonds and precious gems.
Director Avila Foreman commented: “We are thrilled with the decision from the ASA, which is a significant step forward for the diamond industry in ensuring there is clarity for consumers with regards to authentic, natural diamonds versus the synthetic diamond alternatives that we are seeing come to market.
“Thank you to Rosie and the gunnercooke team for their work over the past year that has led to this ruling.”
Rosie Burbidge added: “False claims to sell lab-grown diamonds are very damaging for trust in this new thriving market.
“It’s very important that consumers understand what they are buying, particularly when this might be a key purchase for an engagement or a major life milestone.
“This is an important ruling for consumers and the diamond industry as a whole. We are delighted to have worked with our client to enable it to be achieved.”
Ethica Diamonds owner and founder Elaine Reffell, meanwhile, told Professional Jeweller: “My ex-husband of 24 years and his new wife are behind Diotima & Co and although we have changed our advertising to comply with the ASA’s ruling, we are unconvinced by the premise of this complaint.
“My legal advisers are currently working on a related trademark dispute running at the UK IPO (the UK Intellectual Property Office) relating to trademark applications for Ethica Diamond and Ethica filed by Diotima & Co in 2020 after my company adopted the Ethica Diamonds brand in 2019.
“Whilst a decision in that proceeding is not expected until the new year, I am confident I will be successful and that it will clarify the bad faith strategy behind this particular ASA complaint.
“Meanwhile, we have held the Feefo Platinum Trusted Service and Product Award for the last three years running, with just under 500 independent reviews, and we have maintained a five-star rating on Google. We are yet to receive any feedback from customers who feel our marketing has ever been misleading.”