Claims of being the "World's Most Experienced" a
The British Advertising Standards Authority is investigating
advertisements run by Qantas in Britain containing the claim
"The World's Most Experienced Airline". Is this not
simply puffery and be left to stand? But would the issue have been
raised except by a British public in response to an Australian
company promoting its wares?
The ACCC looking for two-price advertising in the bed
The ACCC recently announced that it would be reviewing
advertising in the bedding industry to determine whether retailers
are legitimately using two price advertising. Two price advertising
is generally in the form of "$1,999/now $1,299" or
"$1,999 $1,299". As the Chairman of the
ACCC notes, this represents that "the current price is less
than they would have paid previously or what they will pay for it
in the future". It is misleading if that is not the case. All
two price advertising should therefore be used cautiously and with
Promoting a machine as being in "excellent condition"
Dr Langov advertised an optical laser machine on his website,
promoting it to be in "excellent condition". After an
initial use, it proved to be defective and not in good working
order. Despite that, the NSW Supreme Court found the claim to be
mere puffery. The nature of the product and the decision making
process was critical.
Rubelli Designs has provided court enforceable undertakings to
the ACCC over its two-price advertising. This advertising was
misleading and deceptive, Rubelli Designs having accepted that it
had not previously offered the product at the "was" price
or at RRP (which was also advertised).
Before the Proud's decision, the Commission's approach
to these cases was to look at the actual prices of product sold in
the preceding month or six months. Prouds established that showing
actual sales at the "was" price is not necessary provided
the product was advertised or offered for the "was" price
in the lead-up to the campaign. Interestingly, in the Rubelli
Designs matter, the ACCC's approach has changed to reflect
this. However, this may be temporary. The Proud's decision is
currently on appeal.
ACCC applies for compensation on behalf of consumers
The ACCC recently instituted proceedings against the Designer
Brand Outlet for representing that it sells genuine designer label
women's clothing when, in fact, it offered no such clothing
and, in some cases, counterfeit clothing. In a rare move, the ACCC
indicated that it may bring a representative action for
compensation for consumers misled. This move may be the result of
the sheer number of people affected, as the ACCC generally leaves
those affected to pursue their own action.
Clarus Telecom taken to task for its telemarketers
Do not think that statements made orally by telemarketers will
not lead to prosecution. The ACCC has prosecuted Clarus Telecom as
a result of its telemarketers claiming that the company and its
services are affiliated with or provided by Telstra. On 26 November
2008, the Federal Magistrates' Court declared that Clarus
Telecom breached the TPA even though the conduct occurred
The Federal Court recently declared that SeNevens engaged in
misleading and deceptive conduct by marketing its Safeties
Nature Nappy as "100% biodegradable". However, as
the product contained some plastic components it was not capable of
"being broken down by the biological activity of living
organisms". To call a product "biodegradable", the
whole product must break down naturally, and within a relatively
Businesses that rely on email or SMS for marketing purposes need to be aware of, and comply with, the Spam Act 2003.
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