ACCC takes court action against Advanced Medical Institute, publicist and TV star for alleged misleading claims

20 July 2004

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted legal proceedings against Advanced Medical Institute Pty Ltd (AMI), Mr Philip Somerset of ColbyCo Media, and Mr Ian Turpie alleging misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to the advertising and promotion of the nasal spray form of treatments for erectile dysfunction (impotence).

The ACCC has alleged that AMI has breached section 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 by causing an advertisement to appear in newspapers published in major Australian capital cities having the headline: TV's Star's amazing CONFESSION!, which featured Mr Turpie.

The advertisement appeared in a number of major metropolitan newspapers in Australia in the period from about 28 March 2004 to 2 May 2004 containing representations that:

  • Mr Turpie had undertaken an interview during which he disclosed, in the presence of his wife, that he was losing his sexual potency, and
  • AMI nasal delivery system had cured Mr Turpie of the effects of impotence or erectile dysfunction and improved his sexual potency.

The ACCC has alleged that these representations were not true. 

The ACCC has also alleged that Mr Somerset, was knowingly concerned in the preparation and publication of the advertisement on behalf of AMI, in breach of section 52 of the Act. 

The ACCC has further alleged that Mr Turpie was knowingly concerned in the contravention of section 52 of the Act.  Mr Turpie admitted his role in the alleged contravention.  As a result of his co-operation, the ACCC granted Mr Turpie a partial indemnity for his role in the alleged contravention.         

The ACCC is seeking court orders including:

  • a declaration that AMI have breached section 52 of the Act
  • an injunction preventing AMI from engaging in such conduct in the future
  • a declaration that Mr Somerset was directly or indirectly knowingly concerned in, or party to, the contravention of the Act
  • an injunction preventing Mr Somerset from engaging in such conduct in the future
  • an injunction preventing Mr Turpie from engaging in such conduct in the future
  • an order that Mr Turpie attends a trade practices compliance seminar
  • corrective newspaper advertisements and
  • costs.

A directions hearing for this matter is listed before Justice Lindgren for 18 August  2004 in the Federal Court, Sydney.

Release number: 
MR 130/04
ACCC Infocentre: 

Use this form to make a general enquiry.