ACCC Not Happy With Panasonic

Is the ACCC over reacting to the Panasonic/Wii offering?

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Panasonic by alleging that it engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct when offering a Wii console with the purchase of Plasma televisions.

According to the ACCC website: “From 23 November to 24 December 2008, Panasonic published advertisements offering bonus Nintendo Wii gaming consoles by redemption to all consumers who purchased a selected Full HD Viera Plasma television.

The ACCC alleges that contrary to Panasonic’s advertising, consumers could only make a valid claim for the bonus Wii by providing Panasonic with the television’s serial number, which could only be obtained upon delivery of the television. There was no guarantee a consumer would receive their television within sufficient time to identify its serial number and submit a valid claim to Panasonic.”

Therefore the ACCC alleges that by publishing advertisements offering bonus Wiis and failing to adequately disclose important conditions of the promotion, Panasonic engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct in contravention of section 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

The ACCC is seeking:

  • declarations that Panasonic contravened section 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974
    an injunction

  • corrective advertising
  • an order that Panasonic review and revise its internal business operations
  • an order that Panasonic establish and maintain a compliance program, and

Of course, what are the chances of Panasonic reneging on giving out a Wii to somebody who bought a television that is part of he promotion, but doesn’t get the serial number in time? Very little, we imagine – the resulting PR would be a nightmare. We’re wondering what talks the ACCC held with Panasonic before heading in this direction…