Consumer law

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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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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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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Back to school: Consumer rights training required

The fast-paced retail environment poses a high risk for businesses to make false, misleading or deceptive representations about products and consumer rights under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).  With the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) having the power to impose considerable pecuniary penalties, businesses should be aware of their obligations under the ACL and …

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ACCC update: 2019 compliance and enforcement priorities announced

Last week, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) announced its annual compliance and enforcement priorities for 2019. The list included a number of priorities that are particularly relevant and important for retail and consumer-facing businesses, including: consumer guarantees, particularly in relation to high value white goods and electrical goods; customer loyalty schemes; advertising practices …

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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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It’s in the warranty: New mandatory wordings introduced

From 8 June 2019, businesses supplying services or the supply of goods and services together to consumers must include new mandatory text in any warranty issued to consumers against defects in their products. The amendments to the Competition and Consumer Regulations 2010 (Cth) now equip consumers with the same level of protection from warranties against …

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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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