Welcome to the latest Addisons Direct Selling Legal Update.
Since our last Update, the legal landscape in which direct selling organisations (DSOs) conducting business in Australia operate has continued to change at a considerable pace. We report on some of these changes in our Update.
Door-to-door sellers in the traditional sense are under fire on two fronts. We take a look at the proceedings the ACCC has commenced against door-to-door sellers in the energy industry in respect of breaches of the unsolicited consumer agreement (UCA) provisions of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). Interestingly, the ACCC intends to argue that the Do Not Knock notices attached to consumers’ front doors constitute a request for salespeople to leave under the UCA provisions of ACL.
On the second front, we also consider a private member’s bill which has been introduced in the Lower House of the Federal Parliament that seeks to introduce a Do-No-Knock Register, which will operate in a manner similar to the Do-Not-Call Register. The bill provides for penalties of up to $1.1 million if an address on the Register is visited in breach of the proposed new law.
On 23 May 2012, the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012 (the Bill) was introduced into the Australian Parliament. Described by Attorney-General Nicola Roxon as “one of the most significant developments in privacy reform” since the introduction of the Privacy Act 1988 (the Act), the Bill seeks to modernise Australia’s privacy protection framework and to provide greater control to consumers over the manner in which organisations use their personal information.
Interestingly, a new privacy principle dealing specifically with direct marketing will be introduced.
DSO obtains order restraining distributor from using the DSO’s intellectual property and confidential information
In the direct selling space, independent distributor agreements and the Policies and Procedures that apply to distributors are rarely the subject of litigation.
However, the New South Wales Supreme Court considered recently whether the conduct of an independent distributor warranted the DSO being granted an interlocutory injunction to restrain the distributor from breaching the independent distributor agreement and Policies and Procedures.
DSOs can take some comfort from the Court’s decision that the distributor’s conduct did warrant the Court granting the injunctions the DSO sought. Read on to find out why.
In our last Update , we reported on the impending launch of the new national business name registration system. On 28 May 2012, the National Business Names Register was launched. This will simplify the registration of business names in Australia.
New Zealand – Natural Health Products – a new regulatory category?
New Zealand’s Natural Health Products Bill has moved closer to becoming law. If enacted, the Bill will see a new regulatory regime in respect of therapeutic-type dietary supplements. What might this mean for your company?
Food with Health Benefits – Permitted Health Claims in the EU
Food manufacturers and suppliers take note! If you sell food products in the European Union for which health benefits are claimed, you have until December 2012 to ensure that all labelling, packaging and marketing materials used in this region only display claims from a list of 222 permitted health claims. Examples of health-type claims include “rich in calcium for strong bones” or “reducing blood cholesterol”.
We hope you enjoy this edition.