Dulux has to pony up $400,000 to the ACCC for the “false or misleading representations” it made about its InfraCOOL and Weathershield Heat Reflect roof and wall paints. Despite promising a tangible benefit that its paint could reduce houses’ interior temperature by as much as 10 degrees Celsius, Dulux didn’t actually test its paint to see whether it actually made a difference.
A ACCC media release says Dulux’s $400,000 penalty for the InfraCOOL paint and Weathershield Heat Reflect, which it no longer sells, covers the period from June 2009 to September 2012 that the company sold and marketed the two paints on their heat-reducing abilities. It did that despite “[no] reasonable grounds for making those representations”, with no testing carried out on the paints on houses painted with the products and no real-world results of their effects.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement that consumers relied upon businesses to give accurate information about their products, and that The ACCC would step in if it had to enforce that accuracy. “Businesses have a responsibility to ensure that accurate information is given to consumers about the performance characteristics and benefits of their products, and that these claims are backed by adequate scientific or technical evidence.
“Dulux promised a real consumer benefit at a premium price, apparently supported by scientific evidence, when in fact Dulux had no reliable evidence of what benefit could be delivered in real world conditions because it had not tested for any reduction in the room temperature of houses painted with these products.”
Dulux has had to agree to an undertaking from the Federal Court not to make similar claims in the future unless it has grounds to do so and can “clearly and prominently explain” the external factors that may reduce the effectiveness of heat reflective paint . [ACCC]