Trade Practices Act 1974

The Trade Practices Act may be used by customers or persons selling goods to prevent unfair practices in the market place. Sport and recreation organisations and enterprises need to take as much care as any other businesses that their products and services are promoted and delivered with all due consideration of this legislation.

Misleading Statements

Section 52 of the Trade Pratices Act 1974 relates to conduct which may 'lead people into error'.

Advertising and promotional statements about any product or service provided by the organisation should not be misleading. It is possible that unintended errors occur in the publishing of newsletters, event posters, event brochures, competition programmes and membership brochures that may

For example, a competition poster may proclaim free drinks for spectators but fail to mention that each spectator receives only one such free drink. Readers may interpret that drinks are free all day.

In a civil court action over misleading claims, the court will usually grant an injunction to prevent any future occurrence. If anyone has suffered loss or damage as a result, the court may award damages and order corrective advertising.

Making False Statements

Section 53 of the Trade Pratices Act 1974 relates to representations which are false.

The word 'representation' includes words, and other things (photographs, illustrations or diagrams) which convey an impression to those that see them.

False representations may include giving an impression that:

Breach of the Act Example

A false representation that the organisation is sponsored by a particular company

Continuing to use old sponsor signage

Falsely claiming that a particular product or program is supported by a well-known personality

Using the name of a well known tennis player on a tennis racquet without permission from the player

Falsely claiming that a well-known personality will be participating in an event

"Steve Waugh will be there in person"
(when he will not)

Such breaches of the Trade Practices Act 1974 are a criminal offence and may be punishable by payment of a fine.


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