AdMart in new row over 'Japanese' TVs

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 October, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 October, 1999, 12:00am

Home-shopping service AdMart may have breached trade description laws by incorrectly stating the countries of manufacture of at least three Japanese TV models.

Three models by Toshiba, Panasonic and Sharp were advertised in a newspaper supplement on Friday as being made in Japan.

But the Panasonic TC22F99H and Sharp 29A-FD8 were made in Malaysia and the Toshiba 21N7SXH in Singapore. They sell for $2,680 to $7,990.

Last night, the firm said the mistake was 'a typing error' and the supplement had been carrying the correct version since Saturday.

An AdMart official said no one had complained.

He declined to reveal how many television sets had been sold and whether refunds would be given to any disgruntled buyers, saying only that the firm was willing to work out 'mutually satisfactory solutions' for both sides.

While there are no legal requirements to state where electronic products are made, the Consumer Council and Customs and Excise Department said the information must be accurate if countries were named in advertisements.

'You don't have to say it, but once you have said it in an ad, you are committed to its accuracy,' the council's chief research and survey officer Brian Cheng Yeuk-nin said.

A Customs spokesman said in cases where a firm voluntarily corrected its advertisements, it was best for it to work out a product return deal with any dissatisfied customers.

A local agent for Panasonic said stringent quality control was guaranteed regardless of where company products were assembled.

The latest disclosure came less than two weeks after Customs officers seized hundreds of bottles of fake Bordeaux wine from AdMart warehouses and an allegation was made that the firm was selling fake Hennessy XO cognac.

The Health Department complained that some of AdMart's Coca-Cola cans carried labels written in Malay rather than Chinese.