Misleading Claims

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The Senate has established a Select Committee on Supermarket Prices, to inquire into and report on the price setting practices and market power of major supermarkets.

The committee is seeking submissions that address the terms of reference by Friday, 2 February 2024 and the committee’s final report is due by 7 May 2024.

Read More Submissions Open for Senate Inquiry into Supermarket Prices

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“The next steps in our continuing scrutiny of these important parts of the online economy include developing strong guidelines for online operators so they clearly know what we expect, before a renewed focus on enforcement,” ACCC Acting Chair Catriona Lowe said.

“Influencers and businesses need to review their practices and improve compliance with the Australian Consumer Law to ensure consumers can trust the information they find online.”

Of the 118 social media influencers reviewed in the ACCC’s influencer sweep, 81 per cent were found to be making posts that raised concerns under the Australian Consumer Law for potentially misleading advertising.

Read More Scrutiny of Influencers and Businesses Over Online Reviews and Misleading Advertising Continues

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ASIC Commissioner Simone Constant said, ‘ASIC has taken multiple actions to protect retail investors from high risk offers and business practices that may be unfair, inappropriate or result in poor outcomes. Our more proactive approach to identifying and disrupting emerging risks and harms is in response to the rapid pace of change we have observed in recent years. Today’s report and our recent consumer warning campaign are reflective of this.

Read More ASIC Report Released on Online Trading Providers and Increased Risk to Retail Investors

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Online national retailer Riff Raff Baby Pty Ltd has paid penalties of $132,000 after the ACCC issued it with eight infringement notices for allegedly making false or misleading statements about its comforter toys being safe for sleep from birth.

Riff Raff has also provided the ACCC with a court-enforceable undertaking in which it admits that the advertisements for its sleep aid toys were likely to have breached the Australian Consumer Law.

“Based on these advertisements by Riff Raff, parents and caregivers may have thought that these products are safe for babies to sleep next to in an unsupervised sleep environment, when in fact there are serious safety risks. These types of products can cover a baby’s nose and mouth, which can pose a risk of fatal suffocation,” ACCC Deputy Chair, Catriona Lowe said.

Read More Riff Raff Penalised Over Alleged False or Misleading Infant Sleep Aid Toys Ads

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“Making false statements about a product’s environmental or sustainability qualities can mislead consumers, as well as putting the businesses making genuine claims at a competitive disadvantage.”

“It is important that environmental and sustainability claims by businesses are correct as they are a key influence on consumer choices and what people spend their money on,” Ms Carver said.

Read More ACCC Continues Focus on Greenwashing Claims

Original media release from ACCC (14/08/2023), link here. The Federal Court today ordered that Dell Australia Pty Ltd pay $10 million for making false and misleading representations on its website about discount prices for add-on computer monitors. In enforcement proceedings brought by the ACCC, Dell Australia admitted that it had misled customers about the price…

Read More Dell Australia Penalised $10 million for Misleading Representations

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Virtual Private Networks or VPNs are a method by which people can more securely use and access public internet connections, reduce some communication costs, and bypass internet censorship. The privacy and protection of personal information is an important selling point of VPNs and one that was used to sell Onavo Protect in the Google and…

Read More Meta Companies Penalised $20m for Onavo Protect VPN’s Misleading Claims

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The Federal Court has today imposed record penalties of $438m against former vocational college Phoenix Institute of Australia Pty Ltd (Phoenix) and its marketing arm Community Training Initiatives Pty Ltd (CTI) in proceedings brought by the ACCC and the Commonwealth.

Read More Record penalties of $438m ordered against Phoenix Institute and CTI for acting unconscionably and misleading students

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ASIC has been successful in its action against Cigno Pty Ltd (Cigno) and BHF Solutions Pty Ltd (BHF Solutions), with the Federal Court finding that both companies engaged in credit activities without holding an Australian credit licence. ASIC also obtained permanent injunctions against Cigno and BHF Solutions to protect consumers.

The decision follows a series of appeals during the litigation, including an unsuccessful bid by Cigno and BHF Solutions to seek special leave in the High Court in December 2022 (22-360MR).

Read More Cigno, BHF Solutions Found to Have Engaged in Unlicensed Conduct