A RECIPE FOR MASTERING FOOD HEALTH CLAIMS

“How could this not have any fat, its too good!” – George Costanza, Seinfeld, episode 71 “The Non-Fat Yogurt”. As the iconic Seinfeld episode featuring an apparently non-fat frozen yogurt comically highlights, consumers’ purchase decisions can be strongly influenced by the health claims that businesses make about their food products. Even before the current pandemic …

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TIME TO SHAPE UP FOR HEALTH & WELLNESS CLAIMS

Even before the arrival of COVID-19 the wellness industry had become an established part of the mainstream, but with the pandemic firmly placing health and wellness at the forefront of consumers’ minds, brands must exercise caution when racing to meet demand. With regulators, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Therapeutic Goods …

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SPAM OFF THE MENU: ACMA ISSUES LARGEST FINE TO DATE

Recently, the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) reported that it issued a million dollar infringement notice and received court enforceable undertakings from one of Australia’s major supermarket chains for breaches of the Spam Act 2003 (Cth) (Spam Act).  This and a similar enforcement action against a large Australian telecommunication company in early 2020 demonstrate …

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THE ART OF THE DEAL: ACCC NEWS MEDIA BARGAINING CODE IMMINENT

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)’s mandatory news media bargaining code (the Bargaining Code) looks set to shake up how Australian news content is monetised and treated online.  The Federal Government has directed the ACCC to address imbalances in bargaining power between news media organisations and the digital platforms that were identified in the …

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ARTIFICIAL ENGAGEMENT: INFLUENCER COOPERATION COURTS CONSUMER LAW CONCERNS

Brands are often attracted to integrating social media influencers as part of marketing campaigns because these individuals have pre-established, organically developed audiences within highly desirable consumer niches. However, recent changes to the Instagram algorithm to prioritise posts displayed based on popularity rather than chronological order, and the more recent removal of a visible ‘likes’, has …

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WHEN THE SHOE DOESN’T FIT: NAVIGATING REFUNDS & RETURNS

As retailers begin welcoming customers back into bricks and mortar outlets, many will keep in-store change rooms closed to comply with COVID-safe guidelines.  Without the opportunity for customers to try before they buy, there is likely to be an increased rate of returned goods and businesses should be aware of their obligations under the Australian …

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GROUNDHOG DAY ENDS FOR RETAIL: AUSTRALIAN CONSUMER LAW STILL APPLIES

***“I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher playing**** Much like Bill Murray stopping his alarm for the final time in Groundhog Day, Australia is about to emerge from strict COVID19 restrictions and gradually resume normal life. For the retail sector, this means consumers are able to return to shops in some states and territories.  …

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AUSTRALIAN BURGER CHAIN BITES OFF MORE THAN IT CAN CHEW: LEARNINGS FOR FOREIGN BRAND OWNERS FROM IN-N-OUT BURGERS, INC V HASHTAG BURGERS PTY LTD & ORS [2020] FCA 193

The Federal Court of Australia (FCA) recently handed down its decision in the case that all Australian burger lovers have been eagerly watching – infringement proceedings brought by US burger chain, In-N-Out Inc. (INO), against Sydney based burger chain, Hashtag Burger Pty Ltd, trading as D#wn-N-Out (DNO). Having regard to overwhelming evidence, the court found …

AUSTRALIAN BURGER CHAIN BITES OFF MORE THAN IT CAN CHEW: LEARNINGS FOR FOREIGN BRAND OWNERS FROM IN-N-OUT BURGERS, INC V HASHTAG BURGERS PTY LTD & ORS [2020] FCA 193 Read More »

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: 2020 ACCC COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT PRIORITIES ANNOUNCED

Earlier this week, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced its annual compliance and enforcement priorities for 2020. This list consists of a number of areas that are targeted at retail and particularly food businesses in Australia and include: misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to the sale and promotion of food products; franchisor …

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The Elephant in the Womb: FSANZ Calls for Submissions on Proposed Mandatory Pregnancy Warning Labels on Alcoholic Beverages

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has recently called for submissions on proposed mandatory warning labels to inform consumers of the dangers of drinking alcohol while pregnant. Despite the Australian and New Zealand governments regularly issuing health warnings against consuming alcohol while pregnant, recent studies conducted by FSANZ have found that consumers do not recognise …

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Not Bhed, Good Trade Mark: Infringement, Ten Seconds In?

It was recently reported that the man behind the “not bhed, good syze” fishing video is taking steps to trade mark the catchphrase that made him a viral sensation in Australia.  With the video’s star now capitalising on his new found fame, including starring in an advertisement for a space rental start-up, this has left …

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Therapeutic Goods Administration Cracks Down on Prohibited Advertising

A series of recent enforcement actions and announcements by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) indicate that the regulator is actively monitoring and prosecuting businesses for breaches of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (No. 2) 2018 (TG Advertising Code) and Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (TG Act). These enforcement actions include: successfully prosecuting a business in the …

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These Schemes Ain’t Loyal says ACCC Draft Report on Customer Loyalty Schemes

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently released its draft report on customer loyalty schemes, which has raised concerns about the actual benefit to consumers of such schemes and the use (or rather misuse) of consumers’ data. Preliminary Findings and Concerns At a high level, the ACCC’s main concerns (as set out in the …

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Subscribed, Sealed, Delivered – Embracing the Subscription Box Retail Model

The Australian retail sector is experiencing significant structural change – and this leaves businesses with no choice other than to start thinking outside the box…or rather think about the box itself… Enter the subscription box. By paying a regular fee, subscribers can receive a recurring delivery of products, often picked for the customer by the …

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No More Sugar Coating: Government Orders Review of Nutrition Labelling for Added Sugars

They say you are what you eat…. But it’s doubtful that most Australians would be comfortable saying that they are the 10 (or more) teaspoons of sugar they consumed in their last can of soft drink.  However, we may well soon be confronted with these images given that labelling that displays this information pictorially is …

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