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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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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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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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2019 A.D. – The post-influencer age?

Social media influencers have become a key weapon in the armoury of advertisers and can be successfully used to drive consumer engagement with a product offering.  However, are we entering a ‘post-influencer age’? Only recently, the Australian Federal Government announced that they would no longer use influencer marketing for any government department campaigns after it …

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Online marketing and trade marks: To infringe, or not to infringe?

…Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of poor searchability, Or to take arms against a sea of competitors (with SEO and Adwords) As online visibility becomes essential for connecting with consumers, businesses are increasingly investing in measures to improve traffic on their websites. Some of these include acquiring strategic …

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Don’t believe the hype: Online ratings and reviews under the microscope

Online ratings and reviews are perceived as a low cost, transparent and real-time way for consumers to make informed purchasing decisions and can therefore be highly influential. Over the past year, there have been a number of enforcement actions successfully brought by the ACCC for businesses manipulating reviews or ratings that appear on their website, …

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When a Fyre starts to burn: A cautionary tale in marketing

A private island in the Bahamas, an ‘immersive’ music festival experience, return flights on a private jet, luxury eco-friendly villas, world-class gourmet food and partying with supermodels… These were just a few of the representations that organisers made to entice approximately 5,000 ticket holders to attend the Fyre Festival in 2017. This high profile (and …

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Returning faulty gifts: New year, new product returns?

There’s always that one present under the tree. It doesn’t quite fit right or maybe doesn’t work once plugged in…Remember to not only remain calm, but both consumers and retailers should also ensure that they are fully aware of their rights and obligations under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). According to the ACCC website, the …

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Digital marketing update: Shoppable content, unreal and nano influencers, virtual home assistants and ads in messaging apps

In a world of exponential technological growth, consumers make purchasing decisions across an array of media platforms. When developing new methods of delivering a personalised and convenient consumer experience across these platforms, businesses should therefore factor in the risks involved including the application of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). In this update, we take a look …

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Marketing warfare series – Part III: Guerrilla marketing

What is guerrilla marketing? Guerrilla marketing involves unconventional or interactive campaigns that take consumers by surprise and typically attract social media attention for being so unexpected. These tactics allow businesses to repurpose their consumers’ environment to include their brand and are particularly attractive to small businesses looking for greater reach and impact at a lower cost …

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