Meg’s Flowers charged with making misleading representations

Federal court proceedings have been filed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) against online florist Meg’s Flowers alleging making misleading representations to consumers.

Meg’s Flowers is an online retailer owned by Flowerscorp that receives customer orders for floral and other gift products through its location-based websites or via its Brisbane call centre.

The business does not operate any local shopfronts and fulfils orders through its network of subsidiaries.

Between January 1, 2019 and February 10 last year, it is alleged that Meg’s Flowers was represented on 156 location-based websites and appeared on 7462 Google ads that it was a local florist supplying flowers in suburbs across Australia.

However, this was not true as it only distributes flowers only through its corporate warehouses and subcontractors and not through local florists.

The regulator alleges that seven of Meg Flower’s websites contained a reference to a suburb or town in the domain name, geographical details about the relevant suburb, a photograph of the florist’s store showing a scooter branded ‘Meg’s Flowers’, statements such as “It’s the local approach” or “our fantastic local service” or “the finest quality flowers in (a suburb or town name)”.

Furthermore, the Google ads included URLs that referred to the location which a consumer had searched for and contained phrases like “Same day local flower delivery”.

ACCC commissioner, Liza Carver, said many consumers “prefer to seek out local businesses to support” and may wish to source fresh flowers in a suburb close to them.

“We are taking this court action because we allege Meg’s Flowers misled consumers into thinking they were ordering flowers from a local florist when they were actually dealing with a national business and the orders were often fulfilled from a corporate warehouse outside of that suburb.”

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