Nudie caught out as ACCC continues to target misleading conduct
Following legal action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Federal Court has declared that Nudie Foods Australia Pty Ltd made misleading claims about two of its juice products, Rosie Ruby and Rosie Blue, and breached the consumer protection provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
Nudie represented that the Rosie Ruby juice was solely Cranberry Cloudy juice and the Rosie Blue juice solely Cranberry Blueberry juice when in fact both the juices predominately comprised reconstituted apple juice: 80 per cent in the case of the Rosie Ruby juice and 78 per cent in the case of the Rosie Blue juice.
The misleading representations over the fruit juice content appeared on Nudie products supplied through national supermarket chains and independently owned shops throughout Australia between July 2007 and 30 January 2008. The claims were also repeated in advertising campaigns in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane using signboards on buses and trams, street posters and postcard flyers.
The court declared in consent orders that Nudie breached sections 52, 53(a) and 55 of the Act. The settlement between Nudie and the ACCC, agreed to by the court, resulted in an injunction restraining Nudie from repeating the conduct for a period of three years. Nudie also agreed to publish corrective advertisements, establish an education, training and trade practices compliance program and pay ACCC costs.
In welcoming the decision, ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuel noted Nudie’s cooperation to conclude the proceedings, but suggested companies take more care in the way they advertise their products. “This case is another warning to companies that they must consider carefully what claims are being made about a product on its labelling and in marketing,” he said. “Consumers are entitled to expect fruit juice producers to provide an accurate reflection on the products packaging of what is contained within.”
“The ACCC will continue to be vigilant in this area to protect consumers and will not hesitate to take enforcement action, including action in the Federal Court, against traders who make false or misleading representations to consumers, as has been demonstrated by this case.”