Dateline Imports penalised for false or misleading representations about a hair straightening product

19 November 2014

The Federal Court has ordered Dateline Imports Pty Ltd to pay penalties of $85,000 following action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for false or misleading representations.

The penalty follows the Court’s judgment on 30 July, which found that Dateline Imports contravened the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) (now called the Competition and Consumer Act 2010) by making false or misleading representations about the amount of natural keratin in its Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy hair straightening product.

“Consumers must be able to trust claims that are made about the ingredients and benefits of beauty products,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

“Credence claims are a current enforcement priority for the ACCC,” Ms Court said.

In July this year, the Court held that:

  • Dateline’s representation that its Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy hair straightening product was comprised of at least 35% natural keratin was false or misleading, with the court finding that it contained less than 3% natural keratin.
  • Because the product contained less than 3% natural keratin, Dateline’s representation that it had the benefit of infusing at least 35% natural keratin into the hair of customers using the product was also false or misleading.
  • Dateline’s representation that a ban on the product by the Ireland authorities would be overturned was misleading, and Dateline’s managing director Mr David Taylor, was knowingly concerned in this contravention because he knew that Dateline did not have reasonable grounds for making this representation.

The ACCC had also alleged that Dateline Imports made false or misleading representations when it stated that its Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy hair straightening product did not contain formaldehyde and that it was safe for use by consumers. The Court dismissed these allegations.

Release number: 
MR 281/14
ACCC Infocentre: 

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