Retailer Sues Over Report Criticizing Its Advertising

The giant Australian retailer David Jones has launched legal action against the Australia Institute, a centre-left think tank, for featuring the company's advertising in a report on the sexualisation of children in advertising. To prevent corporations from suing community groups, amendments were passed in 2005 preventing all companies with staff of more than ten from suing for defamation. However, David Jones is claiming that the non-profit think tank is a business and can therefore be sued under fair trading provisions that ban false and misleading conduct. David Jones' legal strategy mimics the approach employed by drug manufacturer Schwabe Pharma Australia Pty Ltd, which won an injunction suppressing a report that was critical of its "natural" therapy, Tebonin. Schwabe's success was short-lived, however, as the government's drug regulator found some of its advertising breached the advertising code for complementary health products.