Australian Competition & Consumer Commission v. GM Holden Ltd (Federal Court of Australia, 2008)
Side A: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Government)
Side B: GM Holden Ltd (Corporation)
Suit against corporation for false green advertising
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) filed a suit against GM Holden Ltd for wrongly advertising that Saab vehicles provided "carbon neutral motoring." GM Holden had claimed that Saab would plant 17 native trees for every Saab vehicle purchased to offset the carbon emissions. ACCC filed its claim on the basis that GM Holden had not shown any change in the way it manufactured Saab vehicles subsequent to its carbon neutral campaign and that GM Holden's claim that 17 native trees would offset the carbon emissions was not proven and was misleading. The Federal Court declared that GM Holden had breached sections 52 and 53(c) of the Trade Practices Act 1974. GM Holden agreed to advise its marketing staff to avoid "misleading and deceptive" marketing tactics and to plant 12,500 native trees to offset all the carbon emissions that would occur by Saab vehicles sold during the marketing campaign.