Online retailer Kogan has been found guilty of breaching Australian Consumer Law with a 2018 tax time promotion.
The Federal Court found the promotion to be false and misleading in proceedings brought by the ACCC.
The Court found that while Kogan did offer a 10 per cent discount with the code ‘TAXTIME’, the campaign was misleading as Kogan had increased the prices of more than 600 of its products immediately before the promotion.
The prices of these products had been increased by at least 10 per cent in most cases.
Kogan shared marketing materials promoting the deal in emails to more than 10 million consumers and in SMS messages to 930,000 people.
“We brought this case because we were concerned that the advertised price reductions were not genuine savings,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
“Many consumers who took up the offer on one or more of the 600 or so products in many cases actually paid the same as, or more than, what they would have paid immediately before and after the promotion.”
“All businesses must ensure that their advertisements do not mislead consumers about the nature of a promotion, and that any promised savings are genuine,” Mr Sims said.
A hearing to discuss relief and penalties will be held at a later date.
“The promotion was not intended to mislead any shoppers, and was implemented in order to allow customers access to lower prices than the prices that applied without the coupon or promotion,” Kogan said in response to the court’s findings.
“At all times, the Company has been focussed on making the most in-demand products and services more affordable and accessible for all Australians.”
Kogan said the profit made from the promotion was “immaterial” and that the ruling will not have any adverse impact on promotional activities.
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