Online ugg boot trader provides court enforceable undertaking over ‘Made in Australia’ claims
Happiness Road Investment Group Pty Ltd (Happiness Road) has provided a court enforceable undertaking to the ACCC after accepting that it had made misleading claims that its ugg boots were made in Australia and it had used the Australian Made logo without authorisation.
Happiness Road, trading as Koala Jack, is a Queensland based company that sells its products exclusively online.
From at least 5 October 2012 to 14 October 2012, the home page of the Koala Jack website prominently displayed the green and gold Australian Made logo and other statements that the boots were made in Australia.
Following an ACCC investigation Happiness Road admitted that its ugg boots were all made in China. The investigation also revealed that Happiness Road was not authorised to use the Australian Made logo.
The ACCC has worked closely with the Australian Made Campaign Limited (who administers the use of the logo) and the Australian Sheepskin Association to identify those traders who blatantly represent their footwear products as Australian made, when they are not.
“The ACCC considers country of origin claims to be a particularly valuable marketing tool for businesses, as many consumers place a premium on goods that are Australian made,” ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.
“This outcome serves as a timely reminder that the ACCC will not hesitate to take action against businesses which mislead consumers about the origin of the goods they are selling.”
“While the ACCC will continue to monitor advertising of this nature to ensure compliance with the Australian Consumer Law, businesses need to be aware there are many others out there watching. The chance of being caught out is extremely high,” Dr Schaper said
The undertaking requires Happiness Road to:
- refrain from engaging in the same or similar conduct in the future;
- offer and pay refunds to consumers who were misled by its conduct; and
- to publish an Adword advertisement on Google which directs visitors to publications on the ACCC’s website regarding misleading claims and advertising.
The undertaking also requires that Happiness Road’s sole director, Mr Jason Rey, undertakes trade practices compliance training.
A copy of the section s87B undertaking can be viewed on the ACCC Undertakings Register.