ACCC investigates pharmacy chain Chemist Warehouse over its advertising practices

The consumer watchdog is investigating pharmacy chain Chemist Warehouse over its advertising practices.

Last month, the ABC revealed the Pharmacy Guild had written to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) asking it to investigate Chemist Warehouse’s pricing as a “matter of urgency”.

President of the Victorian Branch of the Pharmacy Guild, Anthony Tassone, used two examples in his letter to the ACCC, where he believes Chemist Warehouse has misled consumers.

In both examples, Chemist Warehouse published on their receipt a “normal price” and calculations of an amount a customer had saved from shopping there.

“The main thrust of the concern is representations of savings from the Chemist Warehouse group with regards to what constitutes a normal price,” Mr Tassone said.

“Is the normal price that Chemist Warehouse previously sold the item at, is it being represented as some price that other pharmacies charge, and when they’re presenting savings to the consumer, what is that in actual case [savings] of?

“That is what we are trying to clarify so that we understand what [are] permissible advertising practices so that the consumer is not in any way misled.”

Chemist Warehouse denied any wrongdoing and told the ABC a “normal price” was based on data prices advertised by its major competitors.

It stands by its pricing practices.

Mr Tassone welcomed news of the investigation.

“We are hopeful it will provide guidance as to what is permissible and the umpire will ultimately make a call, whether it is a free kick or play on, and we will accept the umpire’s call either way,” he said.

An ACCC spokesman said the watchdog cannot comment upon complaints received or potential investigations.

The issue was raised at a recent senate estimates hearing, with National Pharmacies also writing to the ACCC asking it to clarify the rules on advertising.

Source Article from http://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/accc-investigates-pharmacy-chain-chemist-042724131.html
ACCC investigates pharmacy chain Chemist Warehouse over its advertising practices
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