Country of origin food labelling has commenced!

From 1 July 2018, it became mandatory for businesses to ensure that food offered for retail sale in Australia is labelled in accordance with the Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard (the Standard). The Standard is aimed at providing consumers with greater certainty for where food is made, produced and grown when making purchasing decisions. For more information on the requirements of the Standard, see our previous update here. To monitor compliance, the Australian …

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Sexual appeal advertising: Code of ethics amendments

Effective from 1 March 2018, the Advertising Standards Bureau now accepts complaints under the amended section 2.2 of the Australian Association of National Advertisers’ Code of Ethics (the Code), which prevents advertising that uses sex appeal from being exploitative or degrading. The amended section 2.2 provides that advertising or marketing communications shall not employ sexual appeal: where images of minors or people who appear to be minors are used; or in a manner which is exploitative …

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Targeted: Organic claims

The ACCC has indicated that it is currently targeting businesses for making false or misleading ‘organic’ claims about their products. With a number of infringement notices issued as part of the investigations, it is a timely reminder for businesses to ensure that any product claims such as ‘organic’, ‘100% organic’ or ‘made using organic ingredients’ are true and can be substantiated. Similarly, any products labelled as ‘certified organic’ should have undergone a certification process.Whilst there …

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The car retail market and consumer guarantees

Car manufacturers are facing mounting pressure to comply with their obligations under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), particularly in relation to directing customers to warranties in place of consumer guarantees. Often consumers are unaware that under the ACL they have automatic rights to refunds and repairs, regardless of what the warranty covers. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has become increasingly concerned that car manufacturer’s policies fail to adequately account for consumer entitlements under …

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Gift cards – new requirements

Since 31 March this year, new requirements have been in place that are relevant for certain gift cards sold in NSW or to consumers who provide an address based in NSW (the requirements also catch gift cards sold online). Certain gift cards and vouchers are excluded from the requirements including those given for free, in place of exchanged goods, loyalty cards, promotional cards/vouchers for use within a specified time frame and prepaid cards amongst others. …

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The new General Data Protection Regulation is here!

Last week the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force and for a short period of time was allegedly Google’d more than Beyonce that day! The requirements under the GDPR are important for organisations to consider, particularly where they may collect personal data (including for marketing purposes or in e-commerce). Under the GDPR, any companies outside the European Union who use or collect personal data of individuals in the EU are subject to …

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Social Media Marketing and Advertising Update: What’s in a tag?

New features on Instagram now allow businesses to post about their products with tags that embed pricing information, product feature descriptions and website links. Whilst this will allow the platform to play a larger role in direct product marketing, the changes are a timely reminder for businesses to review their social media practices for compliance with the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). Direct Advertising To the extent representations made in embedded tagging on social media platforms …

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Proposed changes to the Australian Consumer Law: Exposure draft released

Off the back of recommendations contained in the 2017 Australian Consumer Law Review Report, an exposure draft of proposed changes to the Australian Consumer Law has been released for public consultation. The proposed changes include amendment of: Display Price Requirements section 48(7) to exempt vendors from the requirement to display a single total price that includes all optional fees and charges where: (a) the charge is payable at the option of the consumer; and (b) …

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Eggcellent news for consumers! New national standard for free range eggs

Australian consumers increasingly choose to buy ‘free range’ eggs in support of animal welfare (despite paying higher prices). However the task of determining whether eggs are truly free range has become a rising concern for consumers. Only last year, a major egg producer in the Australian market was penalised $1 million AUD after contravening Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by falsely labelling their eggs as free range, when it was found that the sheds were overstocked …

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Country of origin labelling update

Businesses have until 1 July 2018 to ensure their labels that are affixed to food items comply with the Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard (the Standard) which commenced on 1 July 2016. The requirements under the Standard apply to food offered for retail in Australia (i.e. food sold in stores, markets, online or from a vending machine). The Standard does not apply to food sold to the public for immediate consumption (i.e by …

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