The PBL current Key 5 misleading and deceptive conduct tips for business

2 min read

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At the beginning of this year the High Court handed down its decision in the case of Google Inc v The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (2013) HCA 1. The ACCC has brought proceedings against Google alleging that it had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct under the former Section 52 of the Trade Practices Act (now S18 of the Australian Consumer Law). Under the Google search engine various companies had used sponsored links which incorporated competitor’s names and brands thus leading consumers to click on the link believing that they were accessing a competitors site rather than the sponsored company’s web address.

The Court held that simply by providing a conduit or means for the company to advertise their business did not mean that Google was adopting or endorsing the conduct and behaviour of these companies and there had to be a further step involved for Google to be guilty of such conduct.

The case is a timely reminder of what a business needs to avoid as misleading and deceptive conduct as defined under the Act.

The PBL key 5 tips to avoid this conduct are:

  1. If you are going to allow a third party to advertise on your website or other medium do not under any circumstances adopt or endorse the statements being made.
  2. Misleading and deceptive conduct is given a broad meaning and does not only apply to your contractual arrangements but is much wider in application.
  3. Such conduct can be by omission as much as by act. Accordingly silence can give rise to such claims.
  4. The prohibition on such conduct applies to all conduct not just to conduct affecting consumers. Further a ‘person’ can be guilty of such conduct not just companies and therefore potentially key persons in the business such as general managers and employees can be sued.
  5. There are significant remedies available for plaintiffs seeking redress for this conduct including injunctive relief and damages for actual and consequential loss.

If in any doubt about statements you are making in your website or in your marketing and promotional material consult a lawyer such as the team at PBL who can be contacted on 4305 3500

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PBLTeam

Director Lawyer, PBL Law Group

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Our Commercial Property conveyancing was handled very professionally. Anita’s experience and responsiveness was an asset in this transaction.
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I am so grateful for Anita Bradley from PBL Law Group helped me with this property settlement, she has went above beyond to ensure I understand everything because of our deafness. I will recommended Anita or their team. Thank you so much for all the hard work you have done for us.
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Jye Hall
Anita Bradley has been an absolute dream to deal with. Anita's conveyancing skills and knowledge knows absolutely no boundaries along with her effective communication skills which has made selling and buying a completely stress free exchange for us. We recommend PBL Law to everyone looking for outstanding service. We will definitely be returning clients.
Kushlan Aluwihare
PBL Law Group were fantastic. Anita from PBL worked with us closely during our property search and made the exchange and settlement process smooth and stress free. Highly recommended.
Gail Whitford
PBL handled my late mothers estate, they were very obliging and patient with any and all questions that we had, thank you to David , Sharon and the other staff that we dealt with, everyone was so easy to talk to and friendly .David came to the home where my Mother was living and helped her to get her will in order, Sharon helped us through the process of executing her wishes when the time came even doing a house call which was so much easier, thank you all so much
S M
I have experienced an excellent service from PBL (especially from Anita) during the sale of my recent property on Central Coast, and during the purchase of our current property in Sydney. Throughout many challengers, especially with the sale, Anita presented her very professional and knowledgeable conveyancer, positively solving all obstacles. "Above and Beyond" Award going to Anita!!! :-)
Amanda Reitzin
The five-star reviews are well-deserved. I needed a motion and a bylaw drawn up for urgent repairs of my strata unit and the AGM was in two weeks' time. My solicitor was friendly, efficient, knew what documents to ask for, and had all the paperwork prepared well within the timeframe. She also took the time to run through all the legalese and the different possible scenarios with me to make sure I understood. I am so glad to have found this firm and I will not hesitate to use their services again in future if the need arises.
Ricky Cooper
Anita is amazing! So attentive, approachable and communicates everything every step of the way. I have now bought and sold property with Anita and I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Ron Thomsen
Our Commercial Property conveyancing was handled very professionally. Anita’s experience and responsiveness was an asset in this transaction.
Trace M
I am so grateful for Anita Bradley from PBL Law Group helped me with this property settlement, she has went above beyond to ensure I understand everything because of our deafness. I will recommended Anita or their team. Thank you so much for all the hard work you have done for us.
Tricia Wheatstone
For almost 18 months I have been a client of Alex Ilkin. Alex is very knowledgeable and professional and has consistently provided me with thorough, honest and well set out advice, including steering my case through appeal proceedings. He always worked for my best interests with integrity and compassion. I recommend Alex and his team at PBL.