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Milk price war: Coles admits 'misleading representations' in video

09 April, 2014

Coles Supermarkets Australia (Coles) has acknowledged misleading representations in an online video released last year, which was skewered by a NSW university student.

Final year Charles Sturt University (CSU) veterinary science student Cassandra MacDonald created her own video in response to Coles' promotion of its Coles brand milk.

MacDonald's video helped generate consumer feedback which prompted an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) investigation into representations Coles made about the effect of the low retail price of its milk line on the 'farm gate' price paid to producers.

The ACCC announced on Monday (April 7) it had accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Coles that the company will not make misleading representations for a period of three years. Coles will also place corrective advertisements on the online platforms it used to promote the original video.

MacDonald said she was very pleasantly surprised she had been able to play a part in ensuring consumers were told the truth.

"If this is one way we can keep big companies on their toes, then I suppose that's a good thing," she said.

"There were some points in the original video I felt very strongly about, and that prompted me to do some research and speak to friends in the dairy industry.

"Once I reached the conclusion the Coles video had misrepresented the situation, I felt it was important that other people had access to that information to make their own decisions."

MacDonald said she first became aware of the ACCC announcement when she turned on her computer to find 40 congratulatory emails from friends.

"It is nice to have been a part of something that's had a positive effect," she said.

"Everybody is always complaining about the 'big two' supermarkets having too much control, but we all make choices every day about the brands and products we buy.

"I'd like people to realise they really can exercise a lot of power through the choices they make when they shop."

The TRUTH About the Supermarket Milk Price War

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