• Catch issues early, fix them fast – Free trial


    [ad] With GFI Cloud you can easily manage and secure your remote workforce – wherever they are, from wherever you are! The simple IT management platform includes patch management, antivirus, web protection, monitoring and remote control. Get the benefit of endpoint protection with the ease of central management. Start a free trial now.


  • Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites


  • News - Written by on Thursday, September 22, 2011 16:01 - 2 Comments

    Google beats ACCC in misleading ad case

    news Google has won a lawsuit in which Australia’s national competition regulator had alleged the search giant wasn’t adequately distinguishing paid advertisements displayed by its search engine from ordinary ‘organic’ search results.

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission filed the case in July 2007 in the Federal Court, alleging that Google had breached the Trade Practices Act by allowing advertisements placed by the Trading Post about car retailers in Newcastle to appear alongside results displayed by its search engine.

    Among the outcomes the ACCC sought at the time were injunctions which would have restrained Google from publishing sponsored links representing organisations which did not exist — such as the Trading Post’s move to place advertisements for “Kloster Ford” and “Charlestown Toyota”, which were the names of car retailers in Newcastle. The regulator had stated at the time that it believed its action was the first of its type globally.

    However, in a statement today regarding the outcome of the case today, the ACCC acknowledged a ruling by sitting Justice Nicholas that most people using Google’s search engine would have understood that the label “sponsored links” meant the offending links were advertisements. The Court did find that Trading Post, which had been responsible for the advertisements, had engaged in misleading conduct in doing so — but Google had not, as it had merely displayed the infinging ads without endorsing them.

    Since the case was commenced, Google has taken a number of steps to rectify any misconception about its ads — such as changing the labelling of sponsored links to ‘Ads’ and releasing a new policy on the use of unrelated business names in the first line of text for advertisements. That policy was initially applied by Google in Australia and New Zealand, but then expanded in July 2010 globally.

    “This case is important in relation to clarifying advertising practices in the internet age,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said in the regulator’s statement. “All businesses involved in placing advertisements on search engines must take care not to mislead or deceive consumers.” Nicholas reportedly ordered Trading Post to pay $28,000 of the ACCC’s court costs — but the ACCC has been ordered to pay Google’s costs.

    opinion/analysis
    Sounds like a victory for common sense. Most people these days understand that Google has normal links and paid advertisements in its search results — and they’re pretty clearly delineated. But what the Trading Post was doing appeared to be quite out of line.

    Image credit: Briony, Creative Commons

    submit to reddit

    2 Comments

    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

    1. @Matt_Phipps
      Posted 04/04/2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink |

      Decision Reversedon appeal by the Full Federal Court on 3 April 2012: http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/1043701/fromItemId/142

      • Posted 04/04/2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink |

        We’ll have a yarn on this on Delimiter tomorrow morning.




    Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:


  • Most Popular Content

  • Enterprise IT stories

    • Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp facepalm2

      If you have even a skin deep awareness of the structure of Australia’s superannuation industry, you’ll be aware that much of the underlying infrastructure used by many of the nation’s major funds — AustralianSuper, CBus, HESTA and more — is provided by a centralised group, Superpartners. One of the group’s main projects in recent years has been to dramatically update and modernise its IT platform — its version of a core banking platform overhaul. Unfortunately, as was revealed in November, the $250 million project has not precisely been going well, and the Financial Review last week reported that Superpartners is actually close to turfing it altogether and going back to the drawing board.

    • Qld’s Grant joins analyst firm IBRS peter-grant

      This week it emerged that Peter Grant, the two-time former Queensland Whole of Government CIO (pictured), has joined well-regarded analyst firm Intelligent Business Research Services (IBRS). We’ve long had a high regard for IBRS, and so it’s fantastic to see such an experienced executive join its ranks.

    • Westpac dumps desk phones for Samsung Android mobiles samsung-galaxy-ace-3

      The era of troublesome desk phones tied to physical locations is gradually coming to an end in many workplaces, with mobile phones becoming increasingly popular as organisations’ main method of voice telecommunications. But some groups are more advanced than others when it comes to adoption of the trend. One of those is Westpac.

    • Ministers’ cloud approval lasted just a year reverse

      Remember how twelve months ago, the Federal Government released a new cloud computing security and privacy directive which required departments and agencies to explicitly acquire the approval of the Attorney-General and the relevant portfolio minister before government data containing private information could be stored in offshore facilities? Remember how the policy was strongly criticised by Microsoft, Government CIOs and Delimiter? Well, it looks like the policy is about to be reversed.

    • WA Govt can’t fund school IT upgrades oops key

      In news from The Department of Disturbing Facts, iTNews revealed late last week that Western Australia’s Department of Education has run out of money halfway through the deployment of new fundamental IT infrastructure to the state’s schools.

    • Turnbull outlines Govt ICT vision turnbull-5

      Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has published an extensive article arguing that the Federal Government needed to do a better job of connecting with Australians via digital channels and that public sector IT projects needn’t cost the huge amounts that some have in the past.

    • NZ Govt pushes hard into cloud zealand

      New Zealand’s national Government announced a whole of government contract this morning for what it terms ‘Office Productivity as a Service’ services. This includes email and calendaring services, as well as file-sharing, mobility, instant messaging and collaboration services. The contract complements two existing contracts — Desktop as a Service and Enterprise Content Management as a Service.

    • CommBank reveals Harte’s replacement whiteing

      The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has promoted an internal executive who joined the bank in September after a lengthy career at petroleum giant VP and IT services group Accenture to replace its outgoing chief information officer Michael Harte, who announced in early May that he would leave the bank.

    • Jeff Smith quits Suncorp for IBM jeffsmith4

      Second-tier Australian bank and financial services group Suncorp today announced that its long-serving top technology executive Jeff Smith would leave to take up a senior role with IBM in the United States, in an announcement which marks the end of an era for the nation’s banking IT sector.

    • Small business missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution iphone-stock

      Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers, innovate and get more control. Many others, however, are falling behind, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

  • Blog, Enterprise IT - Jul 5, 2014 13:53 - 0 Comments

    Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp

    More In Enterprise IT


    Blog, Telecommunications - Jul 5, 2014 12:12 - 0 Comments

    What should the ACCC’s role be in guiding infrastructure spending?

    More In Telecommunications


    Analysis, Industry, Internet - Jun 23, 2014 10:33 - 0 Comments

    ‘Google Schmoogle’ – how Yellow Pages got it so wrong

    More In Industry


    Blog, Digital Rights - Jun 30, 2014 22:24 - 0 Comments

    Will Netflix launch in Australia, or not?

    More In Digital Rights