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    New Zealand - Bike Barn fined $800k for misleading pricing

    Bike Retail Group Limited and Bikes International Limited, the joint operators of Bike Barn in New Zealand, have been fined $800,000 in the Auckland District Court. The two firms pleaded guilty to a combined 18 representative charges brought by the Commerce Commission under the Fair Trading Act regarding marketing and sales conduct between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2015. Bike Barn used exaggerated discounting strategies that gave the impression to customers that they were purchasing bikes at significant mark-downs from the normal retail price – typically 50% off. It also advertised clearance specials that created an impression that the discounts were available for a limited time only.

    Germany - VZBV sue WhatsApp

    The Federation of German Consumer Organisa-tions (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband, vzbv) has filed an injunction against WhatsApp at the Berlin County Court. According to vzbv’s assess-ment, following the changes to WhatsApp’s terms of use and privacy policy in August 2016, the company has been acting against the law in that it stores user data it should not and shares data with Facebook – regardless of whether the individuals concerned have a Facebook account or not.

    New Zealand - $1m penalty for misleading Nurofen specific pain range claims

    Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) Limited (RBNZ) has been fined $1.08 million today in the Auckland District Court for 10 charges relating to its Nurofen specific pain range products. The products include Nurofen Migraine Pain, Nurofen Tension Headache, Nurofen Period Pain and Nurofen Back Pain. RBNZ admitted that between 2011 and 2015 its packaging of the products and representations on the nurofen.co.nz website were liable to mislead consumers about the nature, characteristics and suitability of the products. The product packaging stated that the products “targeted” a particular type of pain, when this was not the case. Each product contained exactly the same active ingredient, 342 mg ibuprofen lysine, and each worked identically to the other products. The website contained a number of statements and a product comparison page which gave the overall impression that RBNZ had created separately formulated products to target and relieve specific types of pain when that was not the case.