The corporate watchdog’s crackdown on misleading advertising is continuing, with AAI Limited, trading as AAMI, hit with $20,400 in penalties over two ads that promoted AAMI car insurance.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said in a statement it has issued AAMI with two infringement notices, each worth $10,200.
ASIC was concerned two television and online ads—which included the claims “AAMI Flexi-Premiums could save you an average of $357 off your new policy” and “Switch your car insurance and AAMI Flexi-Premiums could save you an average of $357 off your new policy”—would give consumers the false impression they would save money by switching from their current provider to AAMI, when in fact the amount of $357 was based on a comparison between different AAMI premiums with different levels of excess chosen.
ASIC was also concerned AAMI did not adequately inform viewers of the ads that they would need to choose the maximum level of excess to achieve the specified savings.
While AAMI included this information in fine print, ASIC said the fine print was “ineffective”.
“Advertised savings must be reasonably achievable and properly and prominently explained,” ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said in the statement.
“In this case, the fine print text disclaimer that attempted to explain the savings was so obscure that it was almost impossible for viewers to understand the underlying reality of the advertised claims.”
Fair Work Ombudsman says SMEs entitled to be frustrated over awards
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James has again admitted small businesses are entitled to be frustrated with the country’s complex award system, which still has a “very high” margin of error, according to Fairfax.
While James said Australia’s modern industrial relations system had come a long way to get to the current system of 122 awards, she admitted “for the uninitiated, for the inexpert, the margin for error is still very high. It’s our job to reduce the margin for error.”
“One of the things that our involvement in the modern award review shows is there are genuinely cases when it is unclear when you work for certain hours or certain shifts what the law is, how the award operates,” James told Fairfax.
James said she had heard the frustration in the voices of the employers that call the Fair Work Ombudsman hotline about which award applies to them.
James has written to the Fair Work Commission president Iain Ross as part of an upcoming review of modern awards, listing provisions that have caused uncertainty and confusion among employers.
Shares down on open
Aussie shares have traded lower this morning, off the back of a fall in US markets at the end of last week.
Tristan K’Nell, head of trading at Quay Equities, said in a statement healthy US jobs data, released on Friday, has increased speculation of an increase in US interest rates “sooner rather than later”.
“Market turnover on the day was $1.340 billion,” said K’Nell. “It was hard to find many large caps in the black. I think the heavy selling has set in for the day and the market is likely to drift sideways this afternoon.”
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 56.7 points to 5842.2 points at 11.54am AEDT. On Friday, the Dow Jones closed 278.94 points lower, down 1.54% to 17856.8 points.