digiDirect Fined for Misleading Consumers
Australian electronic goods retailer digiDirect Imaging Express Pty Ltd ("digiDirect") has paid $39,240 in penalties after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“the ACCC”) issued the company with three infringement notices for misleading consumers about the details of advertised sales. Its promotions breached provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), more specifically the Australian Consumer Law (“the ACL”).
digiDirect operates its own website, including an eBay and Amazon storefront. It also operates six physical stores across Australia.
In June 2020, July 2020, and October 2020, the Company conducted sales promotions that used the headline statement “x% off storewide”. The promotions were advertised on the company's website, posted on social media and sent via email to the company's subscribers.
The promotions stated the discount would apply to all products available for sale. However, hundreds of products were excluded from the promotions.
The ACCC Allegations
According to the its Media Release, the ACCC alleges that the company contravened the ACL by:
“falsely representing to consumers that all products were available at a discounted price, when this was not the case”.
The ACCC issued three infringement notices in relation to each of the three promotions that ran in the months of June 2020, July 2020, and October 2020. Since these promotions did not cover all items, the ACCC considered these promotions to still be misleading. Although the promotions contained words such as "terms and conditions apply" and/or "terms and exclusions apply", they headlined that the discounts were applicable "storewide".
False or misleading advertising laws apply to online content that is posted online about products, services or business. The content must be accurate and truthful, whether it is on social media, a company website or an online platform. This information must be accurate in regards to prices, images and descriptions of what is offered, as well as shipping options, and delivery times.
Comment from the ACCC
ACCC Chair Rod Sims commented in its Media Release:
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