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company fined over ads

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« on: November 13, 2009, 10:24:29 pm »

NZ juice company fined over ads
Updated: 17:30, Thursday November 12, 2009
A New Zealand orange juice company has been fined more than $NZ50,000 ($A39,789.91) for falsely advertising where their juice came from.

Brownlie Brothers Ltd, trading as Simply Squeezed, pleaded guilty in Auckland District Court on Thursday to six charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act in a prosecution brought by the Commerce Commission.

The company was fined $NZ45,000 ($A35,811) and $NZ6780 ($A5,395) in costs.

All charges related to a television advertising campaign that ran from March to May last year, for Simply Squeezed Chilled Orange Juice.

The campaign gave the impression the product was predominantly made from New Zealand squeezed orange juice.

A television advertisement used images of Cape Kidnappers and ripe oranges hanging from a tree combined with the voice over stating 'Made in the Hawke's Bay'.

However, at the time of the campaign, just over 50 per cent of the product was from squeezed New Zealand juice and the remainder was imported reconstituted juice made from concentrate.

Although the advertisement included a statement 'Using local and imported ingredients', this was in white font and small print and on screen for about three seconds.

'Businesses need to take care when designing their marketing and advertising campaigns that the overall message is not misleading or deceptive,' said Graham Gill, Commerce Commission fair trading branch manager in Auckland.

'Any messages in fine print' must correspond with the general claims, be noticeable and be easily read,' he said.

'Many consumers prefer to buy products that are New Zealand in origin. Providing accurate information is also fairer on those competitors in the juice market who are already being clear about the nature and origin of their products.'

Gill said it was disappointing to see Brownlie Brothers before the courts again, as the company had previously been prosecuted for offending under the Fair Trading Act in 2004.

The company was charged for misleading product labelling and television advertising of the same product following an industry wide investigation targeted at dealing with a variety of misleading claims in the juice industry.

In July 2009, the commission also warned the company that aspects of their labelling of the Simply Squeezed Chilled Orange Juice may breach the Fair Trading Act.


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