Collingwood Football Club coughs up on membership offer

The Collingwood Football Club has paid two infringement notices, totalling $20,400, issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in relation to an advertisement promoting a membership offer.

The ACCC had reasonable grounds to believe the advertisement failed to prominently state the total minimum price payable for that offer in contravention of section 48 of the Australian Consumer Law.

The advertisement, which was published in the Herald Sun newspaper and emailed to more than 90,000 people in May 2013, offered consumers a three game membership and Collingwood guernsey for “only $20*”. In fact, the total price was $120 payable over six months. While the advertisement referred to a payment plan in fine print, it did not display the total price.

Under the Australian Consumer Law, advertisements that state part of the price of goods or services must also prominently state the total price payable by consumers.

“Consumers should know the real price of goods and services so that they are able to make informed purchasing decisions,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“Advertisements that do not state the real price of goods or services have the potential to draw in consumers based on half-truths. All businesses must ensure that they comply with their obligations under the Australian Consumer Law.”

The payment of an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the Australian Consumer Law. The ACCC can issue an infringement notice where it has reasonable grounds to believe a person has contravened certain consumer protection laws.