Advertising is all about putting your business in the best possible light. While a certain degree of creativity is essential to this process, you could be fined if your ads tell lies or misleading people.

Think all ads lie so it won’t make any difference if you are ‘liberal’ with the truth as well?

We urge you to think again. If you don’t deliver what your ads have led people to believe you will, any member of the public can pursue your for misleading and deceptive conduct and complain to the Office of Fair Trading. Your reputation and public confidence in your business’ name could be damaged from an Office of Fair Trading investigation and any resulting legal proceedings and media coverage.

Consider the following scenario:

A used car dealership runs an ad in a daily morning newspaper advertising a certain car to be available at a certain price. Mr K goes to the dealership to purchase that car at the advertised price but the dealership will only sell that car at a much higher price (loosely based on Wallace v Brodribb (1985) 58 ALR 737).

Reader’s Tip

Running inaccurate advertising campaigns to get customers through the front door is fraught with danger. We recommend that the ads be 100% truthful to avoid liability. If you advertise a product at a below normal price and that product is either unavailable at that price or is only available in a very limited quantity, your business will be liable.

Joe Kafrouni
Legal Practitioner Director
Kafrouni Lawyers


The information provided by Kafrouni Lawyers is intended to provide general information and is not legal advice or a substitute for it. Business people should always consult their own legal advisors to discuss their particular circumstances. Kafrouni Lawyers makes no warranties or representations regarding the information and exclude any liability which may arise as a result of the use of this information. This information is the copyright of Kafrouni Lawyers.

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