Hooker Meats on the hook for false advertising

Published On 01/03/2012 | By Hannah Luxford | Consumer protection, Enforcement

On 23 February 2012, Justice Middleton of the Federal Court fined Hooker Meats Pty Ltd $50,000 for engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct.  The Court found that Hooker Meats misled consumers when it claimed that the meat it offered for sale was grown on, or was otherwise from, King Island, when this was not the case.

Hooker Meats agreed to the imposition of the penalty, admitting in a statement of agreed facts that it had contravened the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) (until 31 December 2010) and the Australian Consumer Law, being Sch 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (after 1 January 2011) by including in its newspaper advertisements and on its website, from July 2007 until February 2011:

  • the words “Full Range of King Island Trading Beef and Dairy Products” or similar words;
  • a King Island logo; and /or
  • the words “King Island” or “King Island Trading” as part of the description of the specific cuts of meat.

The ACCC approached Hooker Meats in September 2010 alerting it of its view that its advertising was likely to mislead or deceive consumers.  On 11 February 2011, Hooker Meats offered the ACCC an undertaking pursuant to the Trade Practices Act that it would refrain from engaging in the conduct of which the ACCC complained.  Hooker Meats cooperated with the ACCC until the final form of the undertaking was given to the Federal Court on 23 February 2012.

Photo credit: tipiro / Foter.com / CC BY

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About The Author

is a solicitor in the competition litigation practice of King & Wood Mallesons.

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