find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Senior family lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Family Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Outstanding national firm · High-calibre family law team
View details
ACCC to get new green claims firepower

ACCC to get new green claims firepower

“GREEN” CLAIMS continue to infiltrate mainstream marketing campaigns across virtually all industries, but the ACCC may soon have new weapons in its arsenal to enable it to test the…

“GREEN” CLAIMS continue to infiltrate mainstream marketing campaigns across virtually all industries, but the ACCC may soon have new weapons in its arsenal to enable it to test the validity of these claims.

In its recently released Consumer Policy Framework, the Productivity Commission recommended that ACCC be given the power to issue “substantiation notices” requiring suppliers to “reasonably substantiate the basis on which claims or recommendations are made”.

According to Mallesons Stephen Jaques partner Amanda Bodger, the ACCC has been calling for such powers for several years now, and the recommendation has now also been endorsed by the Ministerial Council of Consumer Affairs.

Bodger said that if the recommendation was given the go-ahead, the ACCC would have “significantly broader” powers to investigate marketing claims relating to the environmental performance of a product or business.

The ACCC currently does have power under section 155 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA) to issue a notice requiring a business to provide information regarding a marketing claim, Bodger explained. However, it can only do so if it “has reason to believe” that the claim may have contravened the TPA.

“Often when claims have been made by companies, there’s no real concern that there has been a breach of the act, [the ACCC] just doesn’t know whether [the claim is] true or not,” she said. “So this substantiation power would go beyond the commission’s current rights [to situations] where the commission has no idea whether a claim is right or wrong.”

A substantiation power would also make it easier for the ACCC to prosecute businesses that it determines — based on the information obtained from the substantiation notice — have breached the TPA.

“If the substantiation can’t be given, or it’s given but it doesn’t really substantiate the claim, then the commission’s case is much easier to prove because they’ll be given that evidence before hand … they’ll have all the information given to them under the substantiation power which makes their case easier,” Bodger said.

Bodger foresees that the proposed new changes could significantly affect the nature of advertising, as businesses would be required to keep a detailed file on hand to back up all marketing claims.

The issue of climate change is well and truly making its mark across the entire spectrum of industry, and with the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme just two years away, its influence can only grow.

On 12 September Lawyers Weekly will present an interactive forum on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme at the Tattersall’s Club in Sydney.

This will be first in a series of forums looking at emerging issues affecting the legal profession, and there is arguably no issue that will have as extensive, far-reaching implications as climate change.

Lawyers Weekly has gathered a panel of experts in the field, representing government, law, academia, the non-profit sector and the technology industry, who will share their insights in a moderated “in the round” discussion.

The event will include a networking lunch. To register for the forum, for which you can gain CLE points, go to www.lawyersweekly.com.au/register.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

ACCC to get new green claims firepower
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...