Does the ACCC Need More Support?

Does the ACCC have the tools to perform the task required, and if not what more does it need to provide better outcomes?

The performance of the ACCC is important in delivery of effective consumer protections.

A recent lecture by Rod Simms
concludes by considering the root causes for some of the poor consumer outcomes. One of the concluding points -
“I often meet senior company board members and management. Some of them say clearly that it is not up to the regulator to tell them how to behave. Their job is to maximise shareholder value, and decide how best to do this.“

The response of the advertising industry and agencies to an early court case brought by the ACCC in 2003 typifies one view of how marketing perceived it’s relationship with the consumer. It was ok for the industry to make the bullets in any form they chose, how the advertising was targeted and used it was not their responsibility!

Somethings appear to have changed little in this regard, suggesting the ACCC needs to do more on advertising standards as well.


“Tools”? Did you actually mean a different 5 letter word"?


Does it have the tools?
Does it have the resources?
Does it have the necessary support?

Without the tools, it can’t do the job.
Without the resources, it can’t use the tools.
Without adequate support from government, it can’t do either.


I’d love to hear him name and shame the clowns who say such things. I wonder if Gerry Harvey is among them?


it is very difficult to change a steer back into a bull. :ox:

The ACCC is in the same boat as ASIC and APRA. They are our school yard bullies; pushing around smaller kids, but running away from the bigger ones.

While our Governments are sycophants to big business/donors, the situation will not change.


Well said.


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Oh dear.

Fancy anyone suspecting poor old Gerry Harvey of not playing by the rules after he tirelessly campaigned to protect the little guy and the Government coffers from the scourge of some greedy consumers who had the temerity to directly import items thereby “cheating” the hard-working retailers of their rightly deserved income, and the Government of some GST.

Even Wayne Swan, when he was the Federal Treasurer, said that it would not be Xmas if Gerry Harvey was not whinging.

Perhaps Gerry Harvey could be awarded an honorary Choice Community Consumer Defender Badge for his outstanding efforts in looking after the “little bloke” and helping to top up the Government’s coffers.



A parliamentary inquiry into the franchising industry has recommended that the ACCC and ASIC be given greater powers to take rogue operators to task.

It is obviously urgently needed following the revealations regarding the absolutely deplorable behaviour of Retail Food Group at the inquiry and elsewhere.

What a travesty that so many franchisees have had their savings lost and their lives destroyed by these sort of charlatans.



As with any business sector, there are rogues. Having flirted with the franchising sector, I heard of unethical and rogue franchise systems, franchisors and franchisees.

The strictures on franchisors are quite stringent already, but if like in any business sector the management wants to be unethical they find ways and means.

Yes it all needs regulating, but every time the regulators move, the unethical operators will search out a new ploy and new loophole.

This will continue while directors have a high degree of impunity from consequences.


I only became aware that Jamaica Blue had become another victim of Retail Food Group when I read the articles which I listed in my previous post above.

The first, and until recently, the only Jamaica Blue outlet in the Cairns region opened in Cairns Central when the new shopping centre opened in 1997.

They had a wide variety of very attractive items in the display cabinets such as their lasagne which I enjoyed on many occasions. Not cheap but generous portions and absolutely delicious.

Some months ago, a new Jamaica Blue outlet opened up outside Coles in the Stockland shopping centre.

When I looked at the display cabinet, there was only a fraction of the range previously offered at the Cairns Central outlet, the portions were not as large or attractive, and the lasagne was no longer available.

The outlet in Cairns Central used to always be packed with customers but on the occasions I have been past the one in Stockland, it certainly has not.

Most of the outlets in the Cairns region of another RFG division, Brumby’s, are long gone, but my wife noticed last week that the one in a strip shopping centre near our previous home had once again re-opened.

She always loved Brumby’s tiger loaf so she purchased one. When we got home, she tried eating a slice with fresh butter. She said that it was revolting and the rest of the loaf went in the bin.

I also recall watching a documentary regarding RFG around the time when everything started going pear shaped.

The expose of what they had done to their Michel’s Patisserie franchises was unbelievable, especially substituting fresh in-store baked products with smaller, sub-standard mass-produced ones which got damaged in transit and sold for a higher price.

The sooner RFG disappears and their long suffering franchisees have a new competent honest franchisor or franchisors, the better.


Yet another article regarding the charlatans at RFG and their disgraceful behaviour.

Retail Food Group admits their shonky practice.



Retail Food Group is back in the news for all the wrong reasons as usual.


Yet another article regarding shonky food franchisors.

And a very unflattering article regarding Foodco Group’s disgusting conduct.

And an update on the shonks at Retail Food Group.

The sooner both these bunches of charlatans are gone the better.

Now where is the dreaded ACCC.

And it is still occuring.


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I came across this item the other day.

Aggrevied Priceline franchisees are obviously not waiting for the ACCC or ASIC to do anything.


The ACCC is taking Retail Food Group, RFG, to task for lying to franchisees.

Fantastic news.


The ACCC may block Woolworths attempt to take over PFD.

Of course, woollies have the temerity to try to claim that it would not lessen competition.


I can only observe having a long history of experiencing the products served at the more prominent branded franchises the product has failed to live up to expectations for several years. They are, no disrespect to the hapless staff and franchisees - no longer an option.

Would that be the same RFG that ASIC walked away from taking action against in June this year.

It may come as cold comfort if in the end RFG has few assets to call on to meet any claims. In doing so those still tied to RFG as franchisees would also stand to loose all. The findings of ASIC seem a world removed from those announced by the ABC and ACCC action. A happy ending for all including shareholders, priced at 7c seems a long way off.

Missing in any of the reports is prominence due the directors and senior management who signed off on how the company would conduct business and apply funds. Some have moved on. Should we know where are they now?

The other not often reported details are which funds and individuals are the most significant shareholders. IE those prepared to risk profit on the conduct of RFG for better or for worse.

Another article about RFG.

Looks like it will be business as usual.