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Risky Business

August  2013

People on Hand
Hi 

Did you know that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) can require businesses to substantiate any claims on their social media pages, and can take court action where it identifies a breach of the law?

Please read more below. 

  Insurance News 

Social Media

Using Social Media 

- and your Business Obligations

 

Did you know you can be liable for misleading or false comments posted by your fans or followers or customers on your business's Facebook page?

 

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube give all businesses a new, direct way to interact with customers, to attract new customers, and to promote their products and services.  However, businesses using social media channels have a responsibility to ensure content in these channels is accurate, irrespective of who put it there.

 

Consumer protection laws prohibit businesses from making false, misleading or deceptive claims about their products or services and these laws also apply to social media.  Just like any claim a business makes as part of its marketing and promotional activities - including print, radio, television and websites- the claims made on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube must not be false, misleading or deceptive.

 

A business can be held responsible for any public comments made by customers, fans, followers or bloggers on its social media pages which are false or are likely to mislead or deceive consumers. This was confirmed by the Federal Court in 2011 during the ACCC's court action against an allergy treatment company. Clients of the company posted testimonials on the company's Facebook "wall" and the court concluded that the company became the publisher and accepted responsibility for the posts and testimonials on its social media pages when it knew about them and decided not to remove them.

 

For further Guidance for business click here.

 

The ACCC can require businesses to substantiate any claims on their social media pages, and can take court action where it identifies a breach of the law (or issue an infringement notice in certain circumstances).

 

For further guidance when using social media also see: "Using social media to promote your business" on www.accc.gov.au

  Joke 

A Crook Look

 

A hooded robber burst into a bank and, at gunpoint, forced the tellers to load their cash into a large black sack.


As the robber approached the door, one brave customer grabbed his hood and pulled it off, revealing the robber's face.  


The robber quickly put his hood back on, and said to the interfering customer, "I'm afraid that because you saw my face I'm am going to have to shoot you.


He then looked around the bank and demanded to know if anyone else had seen his face.  


Everyone in the bank stared down at the floor in silence.


The robber yelled, "Well, did anyone else see my face?"


After a long silence one elderly lady cautiously raised her hand and said,


"I believe my husband got a pretty good look at you."

 

See you next month.

Regards,
 
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