Thomsons acts for ACCC on two price advertising dispute

12 February 2013

News

Thomsons has acted for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in its prosecution of The Jewellery Group Pty Ltd in relation to alleged false and misleading representations in a number of product catalogues (including one flyer) published from 2008 to 2010. The Jewellery Group Pty Ltd are the owners of the retail jewellery stores that trade under the Zamels brand. The allegations related to a number of “was/now” and “strike-through” prices advertised in those catalogues.

The team representing the ACCC included Partner, Stephen Voss and Senior Associates, Rebecca Halkett and Matt Murphy.

On 18 January 2013, the Court made orders declaring that Zamels had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct by publishing and distributing catalogues containing savings representations that were false or misleading for customers who were unaware of the ability to obtain discounts on the item from Zamels, prior to the sale period specified in the relevant catalogue. Zamels was ordered to pay a pecuniary penalty, publish corrective notices in newspapers Australia-wide and on its website, establish a consumer law compliance and education program and pay the ACCC’s costs of the proceedings.

Stephen said the judgement demonstrated how critical it was for businesses to be aware of their responsibilities when it came to making price representations before, during and after sales.

“Businesses that engage in two price advertising, or strike-through pricing, should carefully consider their position given the implications of this judgment,” he said.

The Jewellery Group Pty Ltd is appealing the decision. Thomsons will continue to act for the ACCC during the appeal.