Company or individual details
- GM Holden Ltd006 893 232
In proceedings taken by the ACCC, the Federal Court has declared that GM Holden Ltd made false and misleading claims in its “Grrrrrreen” campaign which promoted the environmentally friendly nature of its Saab range of vehicles.
In the advertisements GM Holden represented that it had taken measures so that the carbon dioxide emissions from any Saab motor vehicle would be neutral over the life of that motor vehicle.
In the same advertisements, GM Holden also represented that in the first year following the purchase of a Saab motor vehicle, GM Holden would plant, on behalf of the purchaser, 17 native trees which would offset the carbon dioxide emissions for the life of that motor vehicle.
The ACCC's view was that the carbon dioxide emissions from any Saab motor vehicle would not be neutral over the life of that motor vehicle, and the planting of 17 native trees would only provide a carbon dioxide emission offset for a single year’s operation of the motor vehicle.
By consent, the Federal Court declared that GM Holden contravened sections 52 and 53(c) of the Trade Practices Act 1974 by engaging in misleading conduct. The Court also ordered GM Holden to pay the ACCC’s costs.
The ACCC has also accepted court enforceable undertakings from GM Holden whereby GM Holden has undertaken to:
- refrain from republishing the advertisements;
- retrain all its Saab marketing staff in relation to misleading and deceptive conduct in the context of ‘green’ marketing claims to make them aware of their responsibilities under the Act; and
- have the training reviewed by an independent third party and have the reviewer provide a report to the ACCC about the training.
In addition, GM Holden has advised the ACCC that it will plant 12,500 native trees which it believes will be a sufficient number of trees to offset the carbon dioxide emissions for the life of all of the Saab motor vehicles sold during the campaign.