ACCC challenges Harris Scarfe ads

The consumer watchdog is suing department store Harris Scarfe in the Federal Court over allegedly false promotions for its sale last October.

Harris Scarfe, which has 24 stores in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania, ran TV ads for a “20% to 60% off store-wide” sale and distributed catalogues in all three states.

The ACCC alleges that this advertising was misleading because Harris Scarfe was not offering:

  1. A discount off all goods in its stores.
  2. A minimum of 20% off all goods in its stores.

The ACCC also alleges that the catalogue included images of products under banners stating a specific discount when some of those goods were not discounted by the stated percentage.

The ACCC is seeking declarations that Harris Scarfe contravened sections 52 and 53(e) of the Trade Practices Act 1974, injunctions, corrective advertising, a review and revision of Harris Scarfe’s internal business operations, maintenance of Harris Scarfe’s compliance program, and costs.

The matter has been listed for a directions hearing in the Federal Court, Adelaide, at 9:30a.m. on 26 November 2007 before Justice Mansfield.


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