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Take care not to overstate your advertising

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A few of us here at McCarthy Durie and Warlow Scott are 4WD enthusiasts. So we were interested to see that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (‘ACCC’) issued five infringement notices to the 4WD SupaCentre for allegedly misleading consumers about ‘was/now’ price comparisons. As a result of the infringement notices 4WD SupaCentre paid $63,000 in penalties and provided the ACCC with a court enforceable undertaking not to engage in similar conduct.

Between December 2018 and January 2019 4WD SupaCentre advertised some its highest selling products with a ‘was’ price and low ‘now’ price. This was despite the products not being advertised or sold by 4WD SupaCentre at the ‘was’ price at any time during the previous three months. The ACCC maintained that this amounted to misleading and deceptive conduct.

This action by ASIC provides a timely reminder for businesses not to overstate their advertising. Statements or conduct that is likely to mislead or deceive can amount to a breach of the Australian Consumer Law and give rise to a claim for damages. The fact that the offending conduct was unintentional doesn’t matter – it can still amount to a breach of the legislation.

The ACCC’s guidelines on misleading and deceptive advertising can be found here. For advice and assistance with ensuring your advertising isn’t misleading or deceptive – or if you think you have been the victim of misleading or deceptive conduct – contact John Warlow on 07 3002 7419 or jpw@warlowscott.com.au. With almost 30 years experience, John has handled many matters involving misrepresentation and misleading conduct.

John Warlow 
Director | Litigation and Commercial
PHONE +61 7 3002 7444

view John’s profile

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