A Scarborough paving company and its Director have been ordered to pay a total of $20,000 in penalties after admitting to falsely advertising that the business was a member of the Master Builders Association (MBA).
Realgold Corporation Pty Ltd, trading as Repave Spay-On Paving, and its sole Director Peter Vukmirovic were each ordered to pay a penalty of $10,000 by the District Court on 24 April 2014 for making false and misleading representations by placing an MBA logo on more than 500 newspaper advertisements when their membership was not current.
The Court granted a three year injunction restraining the company from promoting membership of a professional association unless it is indeed a current member of that organisation.
The business had been a member of the MBA since February 2006 but its membership lapsed in October 2010 when the company failed to renew it. The company’s advertisements featuring an MBA logo were published in a metropolitan and several suburban newspapers in Perth from April 2011 to February 2012.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said the use of the MBA logo in this case was deceptive.
“Membership of a professional association implies that the company meets the standards and criteria set by the industry that the organisation represents, so it is vital that these logos are only used in advertising when the membership is valid and current,” Ms Driscoll said.
“Making a false or misleading representation in advertising is a serious breach of the Australian Consumer Law and companies face heavy penalties if they are found guilty of breaking these laws.”
More information on the Australian Consumer Law can be found at www.consumerlaw.gov.au or by emailing Consumer Protection: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1300 30 40 54.