Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


ABC Motor Group convicted for second time

ABC Motor Group convicted for second time under Fair Trading Act: fined $31,000

ABC Motor Group Limited has been convicted of breaching the Fair Trading Act for the second time in three years over failure to adequately disclose important conditions in advertising.

ABC Motor Group today pleaded guilty in the Auckland District Court to ten charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act. Judge Kiernan fined the company $31,000 plus $2,800 costs and fees, stating the offending involved a "particularly brazen breach with all the appearance of being deliberate and in full knowledge of its legal obligations".

The charges, laid by the Commerce Commission, related to full-page and double-page advertisements placed by ABC Motor Group in The Motor Buyers' Guide between June and August 2003. ABC Motor Group ran a banner headline that advertised $3,000 cash back and 'half a beast' (ie half a cow for the freezer) along with pictures of vehicles. The offer, however, did not apply to these vehicles.

In nine of the 10 advertisements, the fact that the offer did not apply to the pictured vehicles was referred to in the small print at the foot of the advertisements. In the tenth advertisement, the only disclosure was that 'special conditions apply'.

Chair Paula Rebstock said that given ABC Motor Group had already been convicted under the Act for similar behaviour, the Commission was disappointed the company had re-offended.

"Businesses that re-offend can expect strong enforcement action from the Commission and should also bear in mind that the maximum penalties for breaching the Fair Trading Act were doubled last year to $200,000 for companies and $30,000 for individuals," she said.

"Small print should not be used to materially alter the impression created in the main body of an advertisement."

Judge Kiernan commented that the defendant had planned to attract customers with untrue statements and it was apparent there must have been premeditation in the drafting of the advertisements because of the fine print disclosure in all but one of the advertisements. The defendant "clearly knew its legal obligations".

"By its nature it was aimed at attracting customers," Judge Kiernan commented. It was therefore the "very kind of breach that goes to the purpose of the legislation - to protect consumers and rival traders".


In May 2001, the Auckland District Court fined ABC Motor Group Limited, trading as ABC Direct Imports Motor Group LMVD, $13,500 for misleading advertising, in breach of the Fair Trading Act.

The company used newspaper advertising to promote an offer of $6,000 off car prices or a $6,000 minimum trade-in. The advertisements featured photographs, specifications and prices of cars. Small print stated that the special offers did not apply to the cars featured in the advertisements.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


ScoopPro: Helping The Education Sector Get More Out Of Scoop

The ScoopPro professional license includes a suite of useful information tools for professional users of Scoop including some specifically for those in the education sector to make your Scoop experience better. More>>

Big Tax Bill Due: Destiny Church Charities Deregistered

The independent Charities Registration Board has decided to remove Destiny International Trust and Te Hahi o Nga Matamua Holdings Limited from the Charities Register on 20 December 2017 because of the charities’ persistent failure to meet their annual return obligations. More>>

57 Million Users' Data: Uber Breach "Utterly Preventatable"

Cybersecurity leader Centrify says the Uber data breach of 57 million customer and driver records - which the ride-hailing company hid for more than a year - was “utterly preventable”. More>>

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

Having A Cow? Dairy Product Prices Slide For Fourth Straight Auction

Dairy product prices fell at the Global Dairy Trade auction, retreating for the fourth straight auction amid signs of increased production... Whole milk powder fell 2.7 percent to US$2,778 a tonne. More>>


Statistics: Butter At Record $5.67/Block; High Vegetable Prices

Rising dairy prices have pushed food prices up 2.7 percent in the year to October 2017, Stats NZ said today. This followed a 3.0 percent increase in the year to September 2017. More>>


Science: New Research Finds Herbicides Cause Antibiotic Resistance

New University of Canterbury research confirms that the active ingredients of the commonly used herbicides, RoundUp, Kamba and 2,4-D (glyphosate, dicamba and 2,4-D, respectively), each alone cause antibiotic resistance at concentrations well below label application rates. More>>