Furniture and bedding retailer Super A-Mart has been forced to apologise for potentially misleading consumers.
The apology follows an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) investigation into advertisements run in January, September and October 2007.
Super A-Mart is a furniture and bedding retailer with 24 retail stores across Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia.
In January 2007, Super A-Mart ran advertisements indicating it would clear all floor stock. However, some stock located on the floor was not available for sale.
In September 2007, Super A-Mart ran television and radio advertisements promoting its Thursday Thumper Sale. The television advertisements represented that certain price reductions would apply only during the Thursday Thumper Sale. However, some of the items advertised as discounted were discounted before and after that sale, and another item was actually more expensive.
The ACCC was concerned that Super A-Mart’s conduct may be misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive.
Super A-Mart has taken steps to ensure that the language used in written disclaimers in television advertisements is clearer. It has also made alterations to the layout of fine print terms and conditions in its catalogues.
The retailer will also display public notices in-store and on its website; review and, if necessary, improve its internal advertisement review processes, to increase the accuracy and consistency of its advertising, and establish and implement a trade practices compliance law program.
"The ACCC remains concerned about the potential for small print in advertising to mislead consumers, particularly when used with big bold promises that don’t adequately reveal important qualifications," said ACCC chairman, Graeme Samuel.