Panasonic accused of deceptive Wii advertising

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Panasonic accused of deceptive Wii advertising

ACCC institutes Federal Court proceedings.

The ACCC has instituted Federal Court proceedings against Panasonic Australia, alleging that it engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct in offering bonus Nintendo Wiis with the purchase of Plasma televisions.

From 23 November to 24 December 2008, Panasonic published advertisements offering bonus Nintendo Wii gaming consoles by redemption to all consumers who purchased a selected Full HD Viera Plasma television.

The ACCC alleges that contrary to Panasonic's advertising, consumers could only make a valid claim for the bonus Wii by providing Panasonic with the television's serial number, which could only be obtained upon delivery of the television.

There was no guarantee a consumer would receive their television within sufficient time to identify its serial number and submit a valid claim to Panasonic, the ACCC argues.

Accordingly, the ACCC alleges that by failing to adequately disclose important conditions of the promotion, Panasonic engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct in contravention of section 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

The ACCC is seeking declarations that Panasonic contravened section 52 of the Act, an injunction, corrective advertising, an order that Panasonic review and revise its internal business operations, an order that Panasonic establish and maintain a compliance program, and costs.

The proceedings utilise the Fast Track List in the South Australian registry of the Federal Court, which is intended to streamline court procedures in matters of this nature, thereby reducing the time and cost of litigation.

The matter has been listed for a scheduling conference before Justice Mansfield in the Federal Court on 17 February 2010.

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