From the Chairman

Rod Sims ACCC chairman

Welcome to the autumn 2012 edition of Update.

Some types of unlawful behaviour never seem to go away. The perpetrators keep finding new ways to package or present themselves to the unwary.

Illegal or dishonest claims about medical treatments, quasi-medical treatments or physical fitness is a recurring source of concern for the ACCC.

Such claims—and examples of cases that the ACCC has taken—are the subject of our cover story in this issue, see Miracle cures and magic potions.

Miracle weight-loss claims fall into this category, as do some allergy cures. And so do fitness claims where, seemingly with no effort, a person is suddenly in a much better state of health or where numerous ills are cured by one treatment method.

Our advice about such claims is straightforward: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

The ACCC urges consumers to exercise judgement when they are signing up for seemingly miraculous medical services or treatments.

Also in this edition, we offer advice for people who are planning to attend the Olympics, which begin in London in July.

Scammers have been active in trying to trap people into buying fake tickets or booking false accommodation. This has included people setting up fake websites, posting false ads for holiday rentals on genuine websites, or offering phoney accommodation or ticketing packages.

If you are planning to go to the Olympic Games, our story Swifter, higher, scammer shows you how to avoid being a victim.

Also inside is an overview of ACCC actions to prevent and prosecute businesses and people who participate in cartels.

There is information for businesses that are affected by the new carbon-pricing arrangements that the Government is introducing from 1 July.

This edition also includes coverage of some notable recent cases where the ACCC has taken action against firms that made claims about their products, especially food.

These included claims about where the products came from. These claims were subsequently found, in Federal Court proceedings, to be misleading.

..if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Finally, one of the ACCC’s most popular publications—Keeping baby safe—is now among its most accessible.

Already available as a booklet, e-book and video, it will soon be available as an iPad and iPhone app.

The new format will allow parents and carers to quickly and easily get the latest safety information when buying children’s products. See Keeping baby safe.

Enjoy your reading.

Rod Sims

More in ACCC Update issue 33:

News briefs

Miracle cures and magic potions

Swifter, higher, scammer

Harvey Norman fails in fine print

Fake food claims leave bitter aftertaste

Cartels cost consumers

Businesses and the carbon price

Your door–to–door sales rights

Safer online dating

New laws for business

Recent ACCC publications