If you are a hunter, or have ever seen a hunting show on TV, you've probably seen the ads. Perhaps you've purchased their products.
Scent-Lok Technology has been around since 1992 and according to its website, "has proven to be the breakthrough that successful hunters need." By claiming to eliminate human scent... the greatest weakness of man in his efforts to pursue whitetail deer... the company says it makes "gear that gets hunters close to big game undetected."
However in September 2007 five Minnesota hunters filed a lawsuit against ALS Enterprises, the manufacturer of Scent-Lok products, and some of its retail partners, claiming their odor controlling clothing failed to perform as advertised.
Last week, in the United States District Court in Minnesota, Judge Richard Kyle ruled that ALS had falsely claimed that its products were based on "odor eliminating technology" or were "odor eliminating clothing." The word "eliminate" was key in the judge's decision. Kyle ruled that the word meant a complete removal" -- claims that were false and misleading beyond any test of reasonableness.
Kyle's ruling also says that Cabela's and Gander Mountain -- both of which sell Scent Lok and their own private-label clothing -- are also guilty of deceptive advertising.
In a response posted on its web page, Scent-Lok says it will appeal the ruling, saying, "On a narrow legal issue, the court determined that the word “eliminate” in some of Scent-Lok’s advertisements could only mean eliminate 100% of odor, and therefore some of these advertisements were false.
"ALS respectfully disagrees with the court’s ruling that “odor eliminate” can only mean 100% elimination. There are many products on the market advertised as “eliminating” some condition and people understand that they do not eliminate the condition 100%. A search of the term “eliminate odor” produced over 1.9 million references to the term. A search of “odor eliminator” produced 281,000 results."
"Scent-Lok Technologies stands by its products and their ability to dramatically reduce human odor levels in the field to help hunters get close to game. Our extremely low return rate for odor issues suggest that our engineering is sound and our tests provide correlation to field success. That is why Scent-Lok offers an unconditional satisfaction guarantee."
Chattanoogan.com Outdoors has requested comment from Cabelas, one of Scent-lok's retail partners, on the ruling