When ads fall into a legal pithole

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CAANZ has set up a Fair Trading Commerce Commission seminar led by Rob Noakes and Nick Kovacevich from Auckland & Christchurch legal firm WYNNWILLIAMS.

“There is a fine line between lawful and unlawful advertising,” said CAANZ ceo Paul Head. “Getting it wrong can be costly, both from a financial and reputational perspective.”

Kovacevich and Noakes will visually demonstrate how ads can fall foul of the Fair Trading Act. Kovacevich will outline the key prohibitions under the Act, including misleading and deceptive conduct, unfair trading practices, unsubstantiated representations, illegal use of fine print and most recent legal updates.

Recent case studies will outline what went wrong and how to avoid the legal pitfalls.

‘Trading Fair’ under the Fair Trading Act
Every advertisement is selling something, be it a product, service or both and the FTA is a fundamental piece of legislation for all persons in advertising. The key prohibitions under the FTA are:

  • Giving false or misleading information: There can be a fine line between lawful and unlawful – know the difference.
  • Using unfair trading practices: Also known as ‘bait advertising’ understand what constitutes a breach of the law.
  • Making unsubstantiated representations: As of June 2014 the new law was implemented. Be equipped to substantiate your claims to avoid FTA or Commerce Commission liability.
  • Fine print that is not ‘fine’: Ads must convey accurate and clear message about the offer, and not conceal crucial information. Understand the ‘fine’ detail legally required; avoid liability when including ‘Terms apply’ or ‘Special conditions apply’.


Date: Wednesday 16 March
Time: 5.30pm for a 6 pm start – Wine, cool summer beverages and finger foods from the kitchen of Josh Emett. Concludes 7.15 pm
Venue: Seafarers Lounge and Screening Room, entrance via 52 Tyler Street. Some parking in the vicinity – including Britomart Carpark. Taxi transport recommended.
Who should attend: account managers, senior suits, senior planners and senior creative managers and directors, senior agency management and anyone involved in writing and/or signing off advertising copy.
Cost: $85.00+gst
RSVP: by Friday 11 March to accounts@caanz.co.nz (provide full name, position, and contact details of attendees).
Queries: Marlen Smith 09 303 0435

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