Sales Promotion

Misleading and deceptive claims and conduct:

It is illegal for a business to make statements that are incorrect or likely to create a false impression. This includes advertisements or statements in any media (print, radio, television, social media and online) or on product packaging, and any statement made by a person representing your business.

  • Businesses cannot rely on small print and disclaimers as an excuse for a misleading overall message. For example, an advertisement states that a product is ‘free’ but the fine print indicates some payment must be made.
  • Free products: describing a product as “gratis”, “free”, “without charge” or similar if the consumer has to pay anything other than the unavoidable cost of responding to the promotion and collecting or paying for delivery of the item.
  • Bait advertising: it is illegal to engage in conduct where goods or services are advertised for sale at a discounted price, but are not available in reasonable quantities and for a reasonable period at that price.
  • Country of origin: It is illegal under the Australian Consumer Law to make false or misleading claims about the country of origin of goods.
  • Competition or prize promotion: claiming to offer a competition or prize promotion without awarding the prizes described or a reasonable equivalent is unlawful. When supplying or promoting goods or services, it is unlawful to offer rebates, gifts, prizes or other free items without intending to provide them. It is also unlawful to fail to provide them as promised. A rebate or gift must be provided within the specified time or, if no time was specified, within a reasonable time.


Unsolicited consumer agreements – door to door sales and telemarketing:

The Australian Consumer Law provides that when door knocking, sales agents cannot visit consumers:

  • on Sundays or public holidays
  • before 9 am or after 6 pm on weekdays
  • before 9 am or after 5 pm on Saturdays.


A salesperson can visit at any time if an appointment has been made and the time agreed in advance. The appointment must be arranged by telephone or in writing, not in person.

Door to door salespeople are also required to:

  • clearly explain the purpose of the visit and produce identification
  • explain to consumers their cooling off rights
  • leave the premises upon request.


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