ACCC institutes proceedings against Dulux

The ACCC has instituted proceedings against DuluxGroup (Australia) Pty Ltd for alleged contraventions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the Act) in relation to the promotion of the temperature reducing capabilities of its InfraCOOL and Weathershield Heat Reflect paints.

The ACCC alleges that Dulux made false, misleading or deceptive representations by falsely representing when compared to standard paint of the same colour.

1. Dulux InfraCOOL paint applied to the roof of a house can and will:

  • Reduce the interior temperature of the living zones of that house by 10°C;
  • Significantly reduce the energy consumption costs associated with the house; and
  • Significantly reduce the carbon footprint, or environmental effect, associated with the house by reducing energy consumption costs associated with the house.

2. Dulux Weathershield Heat Reflect paint applied to the exterior wall of a house can and will:

  • Reduce the surface temperature of the external walls by up to 15°C;
  • Significantly reduce the interior temperature of the house; and
  • Significantly reduce the energy consumption costs associated with the house.

The ACCC alleges that Dulux did not have reasonable grounds for making any of these representations.

“Consumers should have confidence that they are able to rely on product information provided by businesses when selecting products to purchase. Businesses have a responsibility to ensure that accurate information is given to consumers about the performance characteristics and benefits of their products. This is particularly the case where consumers may pay a premium to purchase products that are promoted as delivering particular benefits,” Mr Sims said.

The ACCC believes Dulux has a corporate responsibility to make sure any claims it makes are accurate and backed by adequate scientific and/or technical evidence.

The ACCC alleges that Dulux’s conduct contravened sections 18 and 29(1)(g) of the Australian Consumer Law (which
is Schedule 2 of the Act), as well as equivalent sections in the Trade Practices Act 1974, which applied prior to 1
January 2011.

The ACCC is seeking:

  • Declarations that Dulux contravened the Act;
  • Injunctions restraining Dulux from engaging in similar conduct in the future;
  • A Court order requiring Dulux to publish corrective notices;
  • Orders for non-party consumer redress;
  • Penalties; and
  • ACCC costs.

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