The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Emma Sleep GmbH, and two of its subsidiaries, Bettzeit Southeast Asia Inc and Emma Sleep Pty Ltd (together: Emma Sleep) for alleged false and misleading representations in the advertising of its mattresses, bed frames, pillows and accessories.
It is alleged that Emma Sleep misrepresented savings consumers could make by purchasing its products and that particular sales campaigns were limited in time, when this was not the case.
“We allege Emma Sleep enticed consumers to buy its products by misleading them about the discount or savings they would get, and by creating an artificial sense of urgency about the availability of its discounted pricing,” ACCC Deputy Chair Catriona Lowe said.
“Consumers may have been deprived of genuine and informed choice, and Emma Sleep may have unfairly gained a competitive advantage over other suppliers.”
The ACCC alleges that between at least 15 June 2020 and 27 March 2023, Emma Sleep advertised its products online, showing a previous, higher price with a ‘strikethrough’, displaying a percentage discount, or indicating the sale price would represent a certain saving to the consumer.
This was allegedly misleading because the products were never, or almost never, advertised or sold at the higher ‘strikethrough’ price, or without the discount or savings.
“False advertising practices are designed to indicate to the consumer that something is a good deal or bargain, when it is not,” Ms Lowe said.
The ACCC also alleges that Emma Sleep misled consumers by indicating its advertised prices were part of a limited sales campaign by placing countdown timers on its website or stating that the campaign was ending soon.
However, the countdown timer reset itself, or products continued to be on sale for the same or similar discount.
“Misleading consumers by indicating a price is a limited time offer, or suggesting they are getting a discount, or saving money, when this is not the case is unlawful. It is designed to get consumers to make a purchase based on false information,” Ms Lowe said.
The ACCC is seeking declarations, injunctions, penalties, consumer redress, costs and other orders.
Emma Sleep GmbH is a bedroom furniture supplier incorporated in Germany that commenced trading in 2013. Emma Sleep GmbH operates in over 30 countries.
Bettzeit Southeast Asia Inc is incorporated in the Philippines.
Emma Sleep Pty Ltd is an Australian company which launched its operations in Australia in 2020.
Emma Sleep advertises its products on its website, its Facebook and Instagram pages, its comparison website https://www.top5bestmattress.com.au, TV, radio, print media, email, SMS and through third-party retailer websites such as Woolworths Marketplace and Bunnings Marketplace.
Image of Emma Sleep website showing countdown timer and alleged discount pricing:
The document contains the ACCC’s initiating court documents in relation to this matter. We will not be uploading further documents in the event these initial documents are subsequently amended.