Oscar Pty Ltd is an Australian company that produces sculptures for both indoor and outdoor spaces out of scrap metal and recycled materials. One of their very popular sculptures is an electrical spherical light shade made of metal butterflies that can be used on a shelf or outdoors hung in a landscape as shown in Picture 1.

Oscar decides to promote their products by developing a marketing campaign focusing on a current trend in the popularity of African products. Oscar, therefore, promotes its products as being sourced from Africa. A visual image for their label is shown in Picture 2. Prominent features of their advertising campaign include:

1. TV advertisements highlighting an African sculptor producing steel products with a slogan “My piece of Africa!” then the words “sold exclusively through Oscar’s of Footscray!” and their address, website, and phone number.

2. All products will be sold with the label phrase/slogan “My Piece of Africa!”

3. The back of the label includes a description:

“Handcrafted by Nakia Okoye, a famous Nigerian sculptor from the central Igbo tribe in Nigeria, Africa. Okoye is a descendant of the tribal warrior chief Chi Ukwu (the name means – “great spiritual being”). Nakia‘s pieces replicate traditional Igbo motifs using modern laser-cut and welded metal that encapsulates the essence of the wilderness and spirit of Igbo, Nigerian Africa. Nakia’s works appear in international art collections such as the Guggenheim in Spain, New York, and Venice.”

4. A signed photograph of Nakia Okoye with the words “thank you for your support” also accompanies each product.

5. The ethnic flag of the Igbo is also shown on the label, and the packaging of the products as shown in Picture 3.

6. A certification indicating that this product has been approved by International Fairtrade Organisation (IFTO) as paying the individual creators a fair wage.

The product has been a success. Grouch Pty Ltd, a competitor of Oscar’s, investigates the assertions made in their advertising campaign and has found: The sculptor named Nakia Okoye does not exist and no works exist in the Guggenheim collections. The pieces are made in Indonesia not in Africa and are not handcrafted, and not certified by the (IFTO).

Grouch has complained to the ACCC, and you as the ACCC investigating officer are to explain to Grouch which of these items in the campaign breach provisions of s 29 of the Australian Consumer Law.

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