How to navigate selling a product and being ethical in today’s multilayered consumer culture

With multiple streams of media in today’s culture, like social media, television, billboards etc., it is important for small and large companies to be aware of their legal obligations when they publish an advertisement or adopt a marketing plan.

Particularly, when building brand awareness and recognition in the market for a certain product or service, companies must make sure not to present misleading and deceptive information on their products/services.

In order to comply with the regulations and legal frameworks, companies must pay close attention to creating an accurate and consistent message that is in line with product/service proper pricing, value, and quality.

Hotel comparison website Trivago has recently come under fire for making misleading claims on both its website and in its television advertisements. Trivago has claimed in its brand identity as an impartial and objective middle man that helps Australians find the “cheapest and best” hotel prices.

This has caused the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to file a lawsuit against Trivago in the Federal Court, alleging that it prioritised hotels that paid the highest advertisement fees on their website which in turn allegedly misled consumers by claiming it offers the “best price on the market.”

The ACCC also alleges that Trivago used the “was/now” or “strike through” price comparisons and masking them as “deals” which created a false impression of savings offered for the hotel room. The ACCC claimed that this constitutes a breach of the consumer law.

For further information, please read the statement published by ACCC on https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/accc-takes-action-against-trivago-over-hotel-price-advertisements

Therefore, it is important to make sure that your company product/service message does not contravene the Australian consumer law. If you wish to speak to a lawyer about how to protect your business, please contact Nevile & Co. Lawyers.