Biscuit maker Arnott’s has been fined $51,000 by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over claims it made about the saturated fat in its “light & crispy” Shapes.
The consumer watchdog issued five infringement notices over claims that Shapes light & crispy contained “75% less saturated fat” than Arnott’s original Shapes biscuits. The true figure was closer to around 60% less saturated fat than original Shapes.
The ACCC said the claims were made on the packs of four varieties of and a multipack between October 2014 and July 2015, adding that in making the claim, Arnott’s was not comparing its Shapes Light & Crispy product to original Shapes but potato chips cooked in palm oil, hiding the fact in a fine print disclaimer at the bottom of the packs.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said that even so, only around 20% of potato chips sold in Australia are cooked in palm oil, which means the claim may still have been misleading, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.
“Consumers should be able to trust the claims that businesses make to sell their products. Small print disclaimers cannot correct false or misleading representations which are made in a prominent way in advertising or on packaging,” Sims said.
“Truth in advertising, particularly where misleading claims are made by large businesses, is a priority enforcement area for the ACCC.”
Arnott’s will also publish a corrective notice on its website. Paying the penalty is not an admission the company breached Australian Consumer Law.
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