Oscar Wylee admitted that between January 2014 and December 2018 it made statements in its social media posts, emails, on its website, and promotional merchandise that for each pair of glasses a consumer purchased, it donated another pair of glasses to someone in need, when it did not do so.
The false marketing claims made by Oscar Wylee included the claims that ‘For every pair purchased, a pair is donated to someone in need’, ‘One for one. All the time. Forever. We donate a pair of glasses to those in need for every pair purchased’ and ‘Buy a pair, give a pair’.
In almost five years, Oscar Wylee sold 328,010 pairs of glasses but donated only 3,181 frames to charity, without lenses, which is about one set of frames for each 100 pairs of glasses sold.
“Oscar Wylee promoted its charitable activities as a core reason why consumers should buy Oscar Wylee glasses, but its claims were false and were made in circumstances where consumers could not easily verify these claims for themselves,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“The misleading conduct also portrayed Oscar Wylee as a socially-conscious company that made significant donations of glasses to people in need, which, because this was not true, unfairly differentiated it from other brands in the market.”
“At the same time, Oscar Wylee deprived disadvantaged people in need of the benefits it promised in its advertising,” Ms Rickard said.
In addition to imposing penalties, the Court also ordered Oscar Wylee to publish information online explaining its breaches of the ACL and pay a contribution to the ACCC’s costs.
Oscar Wylee admitted liability and made joint submissions with the ACCC to the Federal Court consenting to the orders sought.