Full Federal Court orders $6 million penalty for Nurofen Specific Pain products

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced that the Full Federal Court has upheld an appeal by the ACCC against the penalty imposed on Reckitt Benckiser (Australia) Pty Ltd for contravening the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

The Full Court ordered Reckitt Benckiser to pay a revised penalty of $6 million (up from $1.7 million) for making misleading representations about its Nurofen Specific Pain products.

"This is the highest corporate penalty awarded for misleading conduct under the Australian Consumer Law," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

The Full Court found that the initial penalty of $1.7 million was manifestly inadequate given the need for deterrence and the substantial consumer loss suffered.

"The ACCC welcomes this decision, having originally submitted that a penalty of $6 million or higher was appropriate given the longstanding and widespread nature of the conduct, and the substantial sales and profit that was made," Mr Sims said.

In their joint decision, Justices Jagot, Yates and Bromwich stated: "The objective of any penalty in this case must be to ensure that Reckitt Benckiser and other 'would-be wrongdoers' think twice and decide not to act against the strong public interest".

"The ACCC will continue to advocate for higher penalties for breaches of Australia's consumer laws to ensure that they act as an effective deterrent and are not simply viewed as a cost of doing business," Mr Sims said.
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