INDEPENDENT NEWS

Freedom Air Ads breached Fair Trading Act

Published: Tue 31 Oct 2000 11:59 AM
Issued 30 October 2000/107
Air NZ subsidiary, Freedom Air International, admits ads breached Fair Trading Act
The Dunedin District Court today fined South Pacific Air Charters Limited, which is part of the Air New Zealand group and trades as Freedom Air International, $4,000 for making false or misleading claims about the prices of its "Christmas airfare sale".
The Commerce Commission had prosecuted Freedom Air.
The advertisements, in the Southland Times and the Otago Daily Times, offered return airfares from Dunedin to Sydney or Brisbane for from $449. A banner in the advertisements offered "A Christmas Sale! Save up to $100 return between 17 December 1999 and 10 January 2000."
Commission Chair John Belgrave said that there were no fares available during that period at $449, let alone any at $100 off, namely $349.
Fine print at the bottom of the advertisements qualified the offer. It stated that the Christmas sale airfares were from $499 return and were available on selected Sydney flights only. It also stated that the $449 fares were available from January 21 to June 24 on most flights.
Mr Belgrave said that that there is a message here for all advertisers: consumers must be able to rely on the overall impression created by advertising. All important terms and conditions must be accurately and clearly explained. "All advertisers should consider their use of small print very carefully," Mr Belgrave said. "If the message in small print is important, then why is it in small print?
"If the style of advertising does not allow that important message to be made clear, then the style should be changed. But if the style cannot be changed and still convey the message, then some hard questions have to be asked about the message.
"How accurately does it describe the goods or services offered? Is it at risk of misleading consumers?
"In this case, Freedom Air's message was not accurate enough, was false or misleading and has led to a conviction, fine and the associated bad publicity."
Media contact: Communications Officer Vincent Cholewa Phone work (04) 498 0920, home (04) 473 3827
Commission media releases can be viewed on its web site www.comcom.govt.nz

Next in Business, Science, and Tech

New GST rules to level playing field
By: New Zealand Government
PM’s Business Advisory Council membership announced
By: New Zealand Government
Report shows New Zealand air quality is good
By: Statistics New Zealand
Govt backtracks on climate action, grants drill extension
By: Greenpeace New Zealand
Recommendations for screen sector workplace relations
By: Film Industry Working Group
DOC closing tracks to protect kauri
By: New Zealand Government
Govt raises GST threshold for online shopping
By: BusinessDesk
Foreign Website Gst Confirmation Welcomed
By: Retail NZ
Trade Me supports government’s move to collect GST
By: Trade Me Limited
GST changes will help many consumers
By: New Zealand Taxpayers' Union
Small firms say dealing with Govt ‘a nightmare’
By: New Zealand National Party
Minister welcomes major ‘air’ report
By: New Zealand Government
NZ heading for gas supply gap - OMV
By: BusinessDesk
Focus on 'low-hanging fruit' for emissions reduction
By: BusinessDesk
EPA grants OMV marine discharge application
By: Environmental Protection Authority
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media