ACCC take action against Harris Scarfe for alleged false advertising

By Ian Neubauer

SYDNEY: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has commenced legal proceedings against Adelaide-based consumer electronics chain Harris Scarfe for allegedly engaging in false advertising.

The proceedings followed an October 2006 television and print advertising campaign seen in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania that promoted a “20 per cent to 60 per cent off storewide” sale. The ACCC alleges the advertisements breached sections 52 and 53(e) of The Trade Practices Act 1974 as a minimum discount of 20 per cent was reportedly not offered on all goods in Harris Scarfe stores.

The AAAC is seeking Harris Scarfe distribute and broadcast corrective advertising and a review and revision of the company’s internal business operations, as well as costs. However, Harris Scarfe has already amended its current catalogue, which now offers “up to 60 per cent off storewide.”

Both ACCC and Harris Scarfe refused to comment, citing ongoing court proceedings.

The matter has been scheduled for a directions hearing November 26 at Adelaide’s Federal Court.

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