UPDATED: ACCC launches legal action against Panasonic Australia, plus response

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Panasonic Australia is being investigated by the ACCC for misleading advertising. The claims against Panasonic refer to its free Nintendo Wii promotional offer for plasma TV purchasers.

The ACCC alleges that between 23 November and 24 December 2008, Panasonic advertised a deal offering consumers a free Wii console with the purchase of a Full HD Viera plasma television. Under the rules of this promotion, consumers had to furnish Panasonic with a serial number to claim the games console. This meant that the product must be received by the promotion’s closing date for the offer to be valid.

The ACCC reports that there was no guarantee that televisions would be received in time for consumers to make the claims.

In the Federal Court proceedings, the ACCC is seeking a declaration that Panasonic contravened the relevant act of law, an injunction, corrective advertising, an order that Panasonic review its internal processes and establish a compliance program, and costs.

This matter is due to be heard on 17 February 2010.

UPDATE: In a statement to Current.com.au, a Panasonic Australia spokesperson said, "Panasonic disputes the claims made by the ACCC and will defend this matter".

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