Retail services provider Australian Private Networks Pty Ltd, trading as Activ8me, was issued an Infringement Notice by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and paid penalties of USD 12,600 for allegedly engaging in false or misleading conduct in relation to its online advertisements. The ACCC alleged that the telco provider misleadingly represented that the ACCC had approved or endorsed its internet services as superior to those offered by other providers, when this was not in fact the case.
Activ8me had published statements on its website and Facebook page between November 2017 and January 2018, with the statements being accompanied by the ACCC's logo. The website stated "Named Australia's #1 Sky MusterTM provider by the ACCC":
Activ8me's Facebook page featured the claim "The ACCC have released their quarterly NBN Wholesale Market Indicators Report today, once again naming Activ8me the #1 provider of nbn Sky Muster satellite services in Australia":
While the NBN Wholesale Market report listed Aciv8me as having the largest number of satellite services in operation, the ACCC had not ranked or endorsed the company. The ACCC does not engage in endorsements or approvals of businesses. Activ8me has since paid the penalty and removed the allegedly infringing material. The ACCC stated that this penalty should serve as a warning that companies cannot misuse the ACCC name.
The ACCC media release can be found here.