Proposed changes to advertising laws will require
businesses to specify a prominent "total price" in
all advertisements that contain a statement about the price
of consumer goods or services.
Businesses should review their advertising campaigns and
sign off procedures to ensure good compliance and to avoid
incurring penalties that will apply under the new laws.
The Federal Government has proposed changes to advertising
laws which will affect the way many businesses advertise
prices. The changes mean that any advertisement containing a
statement about the price of goods or services will need to
prominently state the "total price" of the goods or
The changes will apply to all consumer goods and services,
except financial services.
How Will The Law Change?
The current proposal is to amend the Trade Practices Act to
include a requirement for businesses to specify a prominent
total price for goods or services advertised, if any part of
the price is advertised.
It will not be lawful to advertise an airline ticket as
"$299 plus fees and charges". The total amount
inclusive of those fees and charges will have to be
It will not be lawful to advertise goods or services as
"$39 plus GST" - the total price with the GST must
It will not be lawful to advertise a new motor vehicle
for sale by lease finance with the claim "from $299 per
month" without a prominent statement of the total
Stating the total price in the fine print of an
advertisement is unlikely to be enough to comply with the new
laws. The new laws will require the total price to be specified
"in a prominent way".
The obligation to state a total price will apply to the
extent the price is quantifiable by the advertiser.
Optional Extra Charges
The obligation to state a total price will
not extend to additional amounts payable for
"optional extras" selected by the customer, such as
additional product features, or alternative payment means which
might attract an additional charge eg. by credit card.
Delivery And Handling Charges
Postage and handling charges will not need to be stated
provided they are directly related to postage as well as the
process of packing, moving, carrying or transporting goods.
However, where delivery is mandatory and a quantifiable
charge applies, then the total price inclusive of delivery
charges must be stated in the advertisement.
Any applicable stamp duty does not need to be included in a
total price advertised, because it is treated as a charge
imposed directly on the consumer.
What Should You Do?
Although the new laws are still in draft form and are open
for comment until 17 April, we think they are close to the
final version. The laws have been under consideration for two
years or more, so it is unlikely there will be significant
The new laws will probably come into effect later in 2008.
Penalties will apply to those who do not comply with the new
laws, so businesses should review their advertising campaigns
and sign off procedures to ensure good compliance.
The content of this article is intended to provide a
general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should
be sought about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
The issue of recording telephone calls was recently considered in the Federal Court in Furnari v Ziegert  FCA 1080.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).