Advertising and selling guide

Health claims and other benefits

Advertisements for health and medical services, and the benefits they provide, can have a powerful influence on consumers. It is essential that businesses selling health and medical products and services provide consumers with accurate and truthful information so they can make informed decisions.

Real case study: A business manufactured and sold wristbands that it claimed improved balance, strength and flexibility. It also claimed the wristband worked with the body’s natural energy field. After the ACCC expressed concern about the claims, the manufacturer admitted there was no scientific evidence and therefore no reasonable grounds for making the representations.

The business offered refunds to consumers and provided a court enforceable undertaking to the ACCC that it would publish corrective advertising, remove misleading representations from its website and not make claims about its products that are not supported by independent testing.

Related s.87B undertaking: 2010 s.52 undertaking
Media release: Power Balance admits no reasonable basis for wristband claims, consumers offered refunds

Real case study: An allergy treatment provider claimed that it could identify and cure or eliminate a person’s allergies or allergic reactions. The company could not do this.

The Federal Court found that the company had engaged in false, misleading or deceptive conduct and that its director was knowingly concerned in or a party to the contraventions.

Case law: Federal Court of Australia - [2009] FCA 960
Media release: Allergy treatment declared misleading