iiNet penalised $204,000 for unclear advertising

iiNet has been ordered a penalty of $204,000 after it was found recent advertisements failed to prominently state the total minimum price of their Naked Broadband 250GB Plan.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issued the Australian internet service provider with two infringement notices on the grounds their advertisements contravened Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

“Consumers must be able to understand the true cost of an advertised product so that they can make informed purchasing decisions,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“Businesses must ensure that when they advertise part of the price of a good or service, the total minimum price is also prominently displayed.”

The advertisements, which appeared on a tram and billboard in Melbourne over November 2014, displayed a $69.95 monthly price tag for iiNet’s Naked Broadband 250GB Plan. Although the total minimum price was in the advertisement, the ACCC concluded that it was not prominent – as required by the ACL.

“Prominence means that the total minimum price can be easily seen and strikes the attention of the consumer,” Mr Sims explained.

“In assessing whether the total minimum price is prominent, it is important to consider the context in which the advertisement appears – for example if the advertisement is on a moving vehicle, where consumers may only be able to see the advertisement momentarily.”

The two infringements, taking into account the fact iiNet is a publicly listed company, came to $102,000 each.

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