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Monday, 16 July 2012
Energy Watch hit for $1.95 million for misleading advertising
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has won its Federal Court action against Energy Watch, which ordered the company to pay $1.95 million for misleading advertising, while former CEO, Benjamin Polis, designated as the “figurehead of Energy Watch”, to pay $65,000 for his voiceover role in the misleading radio advertisements.
“The Australian people have been misled and deceived by the sharp business practices engaged in by Energy Watch and Mr Polis and they would rightly expect that such conduct not be treated lightly by this Court,” Federal Court Justice Marshall stated.
The misleading advertising finding related to representations about the nature of Energy Watch services in relation to the claims of how much customers will save.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims said providers of energy price comparison services, and other comparison services, should take the penalties awarded in this case as a serious warning.
"The ACCC is acutely aware that increasing energy prices are a significant issue for small business and consumers and they are at the very heart of cost of living pressures. Energy Watch took advantage of this to further its business interests,” Mr Simms said.