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Cavalier Bremworth welcomes clarity from Court of Appeal

Cavalier Bremworth welcomes clarity from Court of Appeal decision

New Zealand carpet maker Cavalier Bremworth has welcomed today’s decision by the Court of Appeal over its promotion of warranties, saying that it has implications not only for Cavalier Bremworth but for every manufacturer that issues and promotes warranties on its products.

The High Court had found the STAINMASTER® warranty booklet offered on Cavalier Bremworth’s new range of synthetic carpets was not misleading and still remains valid. The Court of Appeal did not need to consider this, but it did find that some of the statements made on Cavalier Bremworth’s website and the STAINMASTER® sample label were misleading.

Cavalier Bremworth had already made changes proactively to its website and sent a letter to retailers in advance of the High Court hearing, which was 15 months ago. The Court of Appeal noted the ‘prompt and responsible actions’ taken by Cavalier Bremworth to make the changes proactively. The Court of Appeal also decided not to issue a declaration or grant declaratory relief or to award costs to Godfrey Hirst.

CEO of Cavalier Bremworth, Brent Wollaston said the ‘advertising’ complained of by Godfrey Hirst related to brief historical summaries of the warranties for the four synthetic carpets provided by STAINMASTER® that appeared on the company’s website for a short period of time and on a warranty sample sticker provided by STAINMASTER® for carpet samples. The website had less than 100 views, and the letter was sent to 75 retailers.

“It is tempting for the media and legal counsel for Godfrey Hirst to overuse the word ‘advertising’ and consumers to assume that this means mass media advertising campaigns using the likes of tv, press or radio – this was not actually the case with our promotion. It was extremely limited in scope.”

Mr Wollaston said the Court's decision would help everyone in the industry understand how to promote their warranties.

“Cavalier Bremworth takes its responsibilities to consumers very seriously. This was evidenced by the proactive changes we made to our website and a follow-up letter to retailers, as soon as this matter came to our attention, and before the High Court hearing last year.”

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