Cosmetic web advertising to change after ACCC action
The Australian Institute of Permanent Make-up will change its advertising on its website after Australian Competition and Consumer Commission action in the Federal Court.
The trader has been ordered to publish disclosure statements on its website "that the benefits of cosmetic tattooing are not permanent and will generally only last three to five years. If clients wish to maintain the colour or shape they will require further treatments".
The advertising concerned claims about micro-pigmentation procedures offered in the cosmetic surgery and beauty industries. The procedures claim to be permanent but documentation actually supplied to consumers advised that the product only lasts between three to five years before further treatment would be required to maintain the desired effect.
"The word permanent has a plain English meaning that cannot be used to describe goods and services that do not possess such qualities", Mr Sitesh Bhojani, ACCC Commissioner responsible for health matters, said today. "The treader has admitted that by advertising these services as permanent it was in breach of misleading and deceptive conduct provisions of the Trade Practices Act and other State-based fair trading law".
He warned businesses that e-commerce trading is not an excuse to ignore obligations imposed by the Trade Practices Act 1974.
"Worryingly, there appears to be a belief in some quarters that the Internet means 'anything goes' and this business medium is a 'free-for-all'. This is not true and suggests a misunderstanding or ignorance of the consumer protection parts of the Trade Practices Act and equivalent Fair Trading Acts of the States and Territories".
In addition to publishing disclosure statements, the Federal Court also ordered the Australian Institute of Permanent Make-Up to:
- provide refunds to consumers who can demonstrate that they were misled by the advertising
- refrain from making any future such misrepresentations
- pay the ACCC's court costs.