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Mill Liquorsave fined $10,000 for misleading flyer

The Mill Liquorsave was fined $10,000 in the New Plymouth District Court on Friday 8 December for breaching the Fair Trading Act with a promotional flyer offering a free Tui footy windbreaker with selected packs of Tui beer.

Customers were led to understand that they would get a free Tui windbreaker when buying an 18 bottle pack of Tui beer for $19.95. In fact, customers were required to purchase up to six 18-bottle packs of the Tui beer to receive the windbreaker.

The offer ran during April 2006, and 450,000 flyers were distributed nationally.

"Promotional material of this type is designed specifically to gain an advantage over competitors and encourage customers into stores," says the Commerce Commission's Acting Director of Fair Trading Graham Gill.

"Companies must ensure that promotions clearly disclose the terms of an offer," says Mr Gill, "and the offer cannot be changed by in-store terms."

Mr Gill says The Mill Liquorsave had been formally warned by the Commission about its advertising in 2001, 2003 and 2005, and was fined $5,000 in 2002 over another misleading promotion.

"It is disappointing to see this company continuing to breach the Fair Trading Act, when they are aware of consequences of not complying," said Mr Gill.

Background

The Mill Liquorsave Ltd was fined $10,000 for breaching Section 13(i) of the Fair Trading Act. Section 13(i) prohibits misleading representations about the existence or effect of a condition that needed to be satisfied before acquiring an offer, in connection with the supply or possible supply of goods or services.

The Mill sells alcohol beverages to both trade and domestic markets through 41 retail outlets throughout New Zealand.

The Mill has been formally warned by the Commission in 2001, 2003 and 2005 for misleading promotions. The company was also fined $5,000 in November 2002 for breaching the Fair Trading Act by misleading the public. Promotional advertising from the company claimed "No one undersells us". A comparative pricing analysis undertaken as part of the Commission's investigation showed that the company was no cheaper than competitors on a range of products.

ENDS

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