ACCC abandons investigation into Greencross merger; Oreo slammed by UK advertising watchdog over YouTube ads: Midday roundup

Broede Carmody /

Australia’s largest pet care company has announced the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has discontinued its investigation into its acquisition of West Australian-based pet care retailer City Farmers.

Greencross, which operates Greencross Vets, announced its plans to acquire City Farmers in June, in a deal worth $205 million.

In recent months the company has gone ahead with an aggressive acquisition strategy, acquiring Petbarn from Mammoth Pet Holdings in a deal estimated to be worth $338 million.

Greencross chief executive Jeffrey David, said in a statement he was “pleased” to be informed in writing that at this stage the competition watchdog has allowed the company to conclude the City Farmers transaction.

 Oreo banned by UK advertising watchdog over unclear YouTube ads

Oreo has had five YouTube advertising spots banned by the United Kingdom’s advertising watchdog.

The Advertising Standards Authority, the UK’s independent advertising regulator, took action after it was found several YouTube stars were being paid to film an “Oreo licking race” despite the videos not disclosing they were paid advertisements.

According to the advertising watchdog, the ruling sends a clear message to advertisers about the need to clearly identify paid advertisements, particularly on digital platforms.

The video has been viewed more than one million times and now features text which says “This is a paid for advertisement”.

Shares down on open

Aussie shares are down this morning, with local oil and energy stocks copping a beating.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 69.1 points, or 1.3%, to 5331.8 points at 11.46am AEDT. On Thursday, the Dow Jones remained at 12.81 points higher, up 0.07% to 17827.8 points due to the Thanksgiving public holiday. 

Broede Carmody

Broede Carmody is a former senior reporter at SmartCompany. Previously, he was a co-editor of RMIT University's student magazine Catalyst.

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