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ACCC updates guide for advertising and selling

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released a revised ‘Advertising and selling guide’ for businesses – with new information about doing business online.

The guide is a 40-page document, which aims to provide detailed and practical information about sales and promotional activity under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), and is available for download here.

New content in this edition of the guide includes tips for online marketing and advertising. Using case studies, the guide reminds businesses that the ACL applies to social media, online reviews or group buying in the same way as other channels.

The ACCC has previously warned that it is focussing on online consumer issues as a priority. Group buying website Scoopon was recently forced to pay $1 million in penalties for false and misleading representations. You can read more about that here.

Other key changes from the previous edition include guidance on ‘strikethrough’ or ‘was/now’ pricing.

For businesses that use online sales and marketing channels, the updated guide highlights the risks involved in certain types of behaviour – and provides links to other resources to help readers looking for more detail. These include case law, and summaries of other relevant ACCC enforcement actions.