New ACCC pricing requirements for ads
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released information to help business and consumers to understand the ‘Clarity in pricing’ amendments to the Trade Practices Act 1974.
The amendments require businesses who choose to advertise a part of the price of a particular product or service, to also provide a single figure that reflects the total price to be paid.
“The new law will not only mean consumers have accurate price information, but also that businesses have a more level playing field on which to compete when it comes to price representations,” says Graeme Samuel, the ACCC’s chairman.
Guidance material has been specifically designed for the motor vehicle and tourism sectors, which according to the ACCC are “frequently use component pricing in advertising”.
This means that a motor vehicle advertisement can no longer show the price of the vehicle ‘plus on-road costs’.
In addition to its industry-specific material, the ACCC has produced a general guide, News for Business – Component Price Advertising, to explain the new provision and its application across all industries.
“Under the current law a business that does the right thing by consumers and shows the total price they can expect to pay, may be disadvantaged if a competitor elects to feature only one part of the total price, along with a disclaimer or advice that other amounts (like statutory charges) will also be imposed. That will not be the case after 25 May,” explains Samuel.