Last month, Muji released a press statement about a brand that allegedly sells items from Muji’s manufacturers. You can read about it here. IUIGA wasn’t too happy about my article — mainly that I ran the story without getting their version of it first. So they got their Public Relations firm to write to me and address a few points in my piece; and so in all fairness, here’s the follow up from them.
From the PR firm: “The article pinpoints IUIGA as the ‘third-party retailer’ without confirmation that the other brand is referring to IUIGA in their statement.”
True. Muji didn’t name names. But I did. I called it out and I know it’s you. And you know it’s you. So let’s not deny this and move on from here.
From the PR firm: “NYLON did not reach out to IUIGA for comment to ensure a balanced article, resulting in an unfair portrayal of IUIGA.”
True. We received a press release from Muji and ran with it alone. It’s our prerogative as journalists to run stories according to our discretion, but I agree that more investigation should be made into this matter, and that’s what this follow up article will address.
From the PR firm: “The statement from the other brand refers to a product that ‘bore a tag that had (brand)’s name on it’ and another that ‘bore (brand’s) customer service contact number’ — IUIGA has never used the other brand’s tags or contact numbers in the sale of its products.”
From the PR firm: “IUIGA’s eyelash curler is indeed from the other brand’s manufacturer but not the eyelash curler manufacturer that brand is taking stocks from. The other brand works with many manufacturers, some of which have overlapping expertise. This product is produced by one of the other brand’s plastic manufacturers that also supplies to IUIGA. As clarified for all of IUIGA’s products, the design rights belong to the manufacturer and they are free to work with any other brand. As such, IUIGA is not infringing on design or product rights.”
From the PR firm: “The article also claims that IUIGA’s products are copies of other notable beauty, travel and homeware brands — all the products are made by the manufacturer mentioned in their product listing.”
The manufacturer mentioned is “L’Oreal Same Manufacturer”.
We still maintain that this Eva Mini Facial Cleansing Device looks like a copy of Foreo’s Luna Mini 2. We don’t believe that it’s from Foreo’s manufacturer — nor did IUIGA claim it to be — because you can see that there are physical differences in the product, and a MASSIVE price difference, which would indicate different standards of production. So once again — in our opinion— we believe that it’s a copy of the Luna Mini 2. Is it not?
Following up from the above five points from the PR firm, I asked if Muji did indeed reach out to IUIGA as Muji’s press statement claims. And this is what IUIGA says:
“Yes, MUJI did reach out to us asking us to state which manufacturers we are working with. IUIGA did not reply as we are contractually bound by our manufacturers and we are not in the liberty to share their contacts. In this case, we would suggest that MUJI approach their manufacturers if they wish to find out.”
REGARDING THAT BEADS SOFA
On IUIGA’s Canvas Blend Bean Bag Sofa page, it says “IUIGA Exclusive Manufacturer”.
I asked IUIGA if this means that the bean bag comes from a different manufacturer as Muji’s. And they replied:
“Many of our products are from the same manufacturer and we have certainly cleared with our lawyers in ensuring that all marketing materials do not mislead the consumers or carry inaccurate information. The reason why the product listing has been revised is because we have been informed by the manufacturers that Muji has pressured them to have IUIGA remove the “Same Manufacturer as MUJI’s tag/label. Given that MUJI’s business still occupy a large portion of the manufacturers’ overall revenue, we are in no position to work against our manufacturers, and we accede to their request to bring down the tag/label.”
So, yes. Muji and IUIGA’s bean bag come from the same manufacturer. If Muji’s manufacturer has been telling them otherwise, then that’s something for Muji to clear up with them.
I suppose the ball is in Muji’s court now.