July 19, 2009
The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth – so help consumers. Why is it that advertising claims continue to fail to meet the basic minimum of being accurate?
It seems shower head manufacturer, Methven, and Brownlie Brothers Ltd’s ‘Simply Squeezed’ orange juice will find themselves being called to account by The Commerce Commission over advertising and promotion claims that contravene the Fair Trading Act.
And it won’t be the first time for Brownlie Brothers Ltd. A report in the New Zealand Herald notes
“Freshly Squeezed was convicted and fined $10,000 in December 2003 for breaches in relation to its Arano and Fresh Selection juice products. And Brownlie Brothers, trading as Simply Squeezed, was also prosecuted in 2004 for misrepresenting the nature, content and origin of its juice product in television and juice labels. It was fined $35,000.”
Methven’s claims that “ …a Satinjet head uses up to 55 per cent less water and 45 per cent less energy …” are apparently true only where mains pressure delivers 20 litres of water per minute. However, the Herald reports only 7 percent of households in New Zealand have water pressure higher than 18 litres per minute. Around two-thirds have just 6-12 litres per minute.
Memories of Ribena’s false vitamin C claims come flooding back. Seems the level of fines don’t deter companies from making misleading statements, often more than once.
It doesn’t surprise me that the media design student exposed as a liar on TradeMe today responded to claims his online deception may shut the door on a career in advertising by quipping
“Dishonesty in advertising? I think that might help.”
Maybe I should submit a suggestion for a Tui billboard ad: ‘Product claims? Trust us, we’re telling the truth.” Yeah right.