A member asked about 7 years ago

Online business NSW Australia

Hi, I am looking to start a food delivery business online for people with heart conditions and I am trying to make sure I abide by the regulations in relation to wording on websites and marketing.
1. Apart from ACCC site, is there anywhere else I can find more information about the types of wordings I can put on my website? (Have already read info such as misleading comments)
2. Specifically, for example, can I put wording such as: 'our product may support your nutritional requirements' 'our products have been designed for people with heart conditions' 'our products will eventually become the best thing you can work as we work with your your doctor'

Law Advisor Research Team
Researchers at LawAdvisor

Hi there. As you have identified, one of the most important legal issues in running a small business is advertising and marketing, especially the statements you make in promotional material.

The law does not allow you to make any statements that are incorrect or likely to create a false impression. This rule applies to statements made on websites, packaging or by salespeople when interacting with customers. Sometimes disclaimers and the “fine print” can be used to give more detail about a product or service, but disclaimers are usually not enough. The key issue is whether the overall impression of the marketing material would mislead a consumer. Fines and other penalties apply to businesses that make false statements.

Your specific examples raise several issues. Some of your statements relate to the quality of the product, which would need to be substantiated with evidence that proves those claims are true. Similarly, any statement about the product being the “best” must not be false or misleading. Greatly exaggerated claims are considered “puffery” and therefore not misleading, but if the claim is only slightly exaggerated, then it may actually be misleading to a consumer.

There are many factors to be considered when preparing marketing material for a product or services. The ACCC website (www.accc.gov.au) offers helpful information on these matters, but it is general advice and is not specifically tailored to your situation or business. The NSW Fair Trading website (www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au) also offers general information for small businesses in relation to advertising and marketing.

Suggested way forward

The above two websites are a helpful starting point for considering what to include in your marketing material. However, they are not a substitute for a proper legal assessment of your business’ advertising practices. To minimise the risk involved, you should consider speaking to a business lawyer who can advise you of the best course of action. By pressing the “Consult a Lawyer” button, LawAdvisor can help you search for experienced immigration lawyers and obtain fee proposals for their services. Costs for legal advice and representation will vary between providers based on experience and the scope of services.

Answered about 7 years ago   Legal disclaimer

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