Federal Court finds Telstra's Next G advertising 'deceptive'

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Federal Court finds Telstra's Next G advertising 'deceptive'

The Federal Court has granted industry watchdog, the ACCC, the permission to permanently restrain Telstra from engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct concerning its Next Generation mobile network.

According to the Federal Court, Telstra was found to have falsely represented its service as a particular standard and represented that goods had performance characteristics, uses or benefits that it did not have.

Furthermore, ACCC Chairman, Graeme Samuel said the orders handed down should prevent Telstra from making false claims about coverage that mislead or deceive consumers while continuing to remind the telecommunications industry of the need for accuracy in the promotion of services.

“The illegal conduct included representations that the Next G mobile network had ‘coverage everywhere you need it’ and that Next G customers would get the same or better coverage as they did on the CDMA network. Telstra made these representations in a nationwide advertising campaign that included television, radio, point of sale, online, and print advertisements over a number of months, Samuel said.

Telstra immediately sought a stay of the injunctions and it was refused by the Federal Court.

Presiding over the matters, Justice Gordon said: "I consider Telstra's conduct was dishonest, the advertising was misleading or deceptive."

The court declined to order corrective advertising in light of the widespread reporting of the judgment in many forms of media and because, in Justice Gordon's view, the public interest is sufficiently protected by the grant of declarations and injunctions.

Telstra was ordered to pay the ACCC's costs of the proceedings in full.
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