The PBL Key 5 tips and traps for business using Social Media in Advertising!

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A business which fails to use social media of one kind or another (and some say as many as possible) is risking extermination and extinction these days.

Many businesses in Australia have embraced social media whether it be You Tube, Linked In, Twitter, Facebook or some other electronic way of getting your message across to your potential clients.

However, it is important to keep in mind that this form of communication comes with certain important consequences.

  1. Misleading and deceptive conduct
    Just like any other form of communication to members of the public it is important not to make misleading or deceptive comments or comments likely to mislead or deceive. If you do so, you’ll fall foul of the Australian Consumer Law embodied in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (section 18). In a recent case a clothing designer posting comments on her Facebook page about a well-known swimwear clothing company was found by the Federal Court to be misleading and deceptive and where the disgruntled company was awarded $25,000 in damages plus costs (Seafolly Pty Ltd v Madden 2012 FCA 1346). Accordingly “look before you leap”. In this day of fast Internet connection and instantaneous communication it is a fundamental rule that you need to think carefully before you post a comment on social media particularly about a competitor or any company or individual in business.
  2. Advertising standards
    In a recent decision the Advertising Standards Board found that Facebook pages are advertising. As such they need to comply with certain standards and codes just as if they were advertisements posted on television and radio or some other medium. Accordingly, all relevant social media pages that are effectively “advertising” your products or services will need to be monitored to ensure they meet the standards. For example, if an advertisement is in poor taste, sexist, racist or otherwise defamatory then it may be actionable by relevant disgruntled stakeholders at great cost to the business.
  3. Publicly listed companies and the ASX
    It is important to ensure that any information being released about a publicly listed company is accurate and does not have a deleterious effect on its share price. This does not only mean information being disseminated by the company and its employees but also by third parties. Recently a coal company was required to respond to fraudulent media releases indicating that it had defaulted on its loan facility which had spooked investors and contributed to a significant downturn in the share price. Businesses need to be aware that under ASX listing rule 3.1B companies are required to provide information on request by the ASX where there is likely to be a false market in the company’s securities.
  4. The renegade employee
    Given that much trade and business is conducted via social media these days in a significant number of businesses it is important to put into place strong and effective internal policies and educational programs to deal with social media. It is essential that the policy is both implemented and training be provided to avoid any uncertainty. At least if this is in place the renegade employee who actively seeks to undermine a business can be quickly brought to account.
  5. Being proactive
    Given that a rogue competitor or employee can have a significant adverse impact by using social media to undermine a business, it is essential that you not only monitor your social media pages but also that you are proactive in responding to false and misleading or deceptive claims being made about your business. This may mean taking legal action in some cases which can be expensive. Another way of dealing with it is to proactively respond to false misleading or deceptive claims so that your customers and clients can immediately see that you’re doing something about it and are doing so with without delay.

As social media dissemination is becoming increasingly important to business it is important to ensure that you have the right advice and you may wish to contact us on 4305 3500

 

 

If you need help in buying a business please contact us on 4305 3500[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][recent_posts style=”default” category=”all” columns=”4″ posts_per_page=”4″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Raea Khan Circle
Director Lawyer
Raea Khan

Raea is Managing Director and Principal Lawyer for PBl Law Group. Raea assists clients with major projects, property developments, construction and strata law.

He has worked in Western Australia and Queensland assisting with expansion projects in the energy and resource sector and now predominately advises clients in Strata and Community Association matters.

He is a member of the Australian College of Strata Lawyers where majority of his work is advising developers and owners corporations with dispute related minor and major defects, strata governance and common property litigation. He is proficient at leading negotiations and meetings.

Raea has a particular interest in the commercial aspect of any dispute and always tries to weigh up the risk, reward and benefit of legal proceedings at each different stage.

Raea enjoys all forms of competitive sport, including Crossfit and actively participates in Triathlons, representing Australia as an age group athlete. He was a member of Red Head Surf Lifesaving club.

  • Strata Law
  • Construction & Major Projects
  • Commercial and Business Law
  • Planning & Environment Law