Let's all say it together: naughty Gerry! Harvey Norman has been fined $1.25 million by the Federal Court for misleading advertising.
Picture by Chris Hyde/Gerry Images
The fine covers two offences. Firstly, Harvey Norman promoted 3D televisions in its catalogues by noting that the AFL and NRL grand final would be broadcast in 3D, but failed to mention that only applied in a handful of capital cities (plus Newcastle, fact fans). Secondly, it ran ads in its catalogues over a period of years which conveyed the impression some specials were available in all its stores, when in fact those deals were only available in one store in each state. Justice Collier didn't hold back in describing what she thought of such conduct, calling it
an expensive, misleading and calculated campaign of sizable proportions, characterised by blatant and deliberate disregard of the truth, cynical strategies to capitalise on contemporary sporting events (in the case of the 3D Conduct) and the contemptuous manipulation of the expectations of ordinary consumers in respect of so-called “fine print” (in relation to the Catalogues)
It's a timely reminder that retailers in Australia can't conceal significant detail about products or sales in fine print. We trust similar issues won't dog Harvey Norman's recently launched online store.
Harvey Norman fined for misleading ads [The West]