Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016
What might be 'prominent' in print may not be the case
when an advertisement appears in a different medium.
iiNet seems to be finding this out the hard way. In 2013, the
ACCC issued an infringement notice for $102,000 over an
advertisement on the back of a bus that the ACCC believed failed to
prominently state the total minimum price payable for iiNet's
Naked DSL Service.
On 3 March 2015, the ACCC announced that iiNet has paid a
further two penalties totalling $204,000 following publication of
advertisements for their Naked DSL service on billboards and trams
and it is the same issue again.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims provided some important guidance in the
ACCC release: 'Prominence means that the total minimum price
can be easily seen and strikes the attention of the consumer... it
is important to consider the context in which the advertisement
appears – for example if the advertisement is on a moving
vehicle, where consumers may only be able to see the advertisement
It is important that the advertising medium is considered and
legal sign-off on advertisements is not given without context. The
relative size of the part price compared to the total price is
important as well as the colour of the font, the actual size of the
font in the context of the distance consumers would view it from
and other factors.
Advertising what can be a complex pricing structure on a
billboard is not without some risk that consumers will not grasp
the full details but iiNet has tipped the ACCC's scales in this
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