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Wednesday, 28 March 1973
Page: 770

Mr COATES (DENISON, TASMANIA) - My question is directed to the Postmaster-General. Is it a fact that firms advertising in the Pink Pages of telephone books are not allowed to mention the price they charge for their goods, services or facilities? Is this a PMG rule or a rule of the private firm which has the Pink Pages contract? Is this so that people have to ring all or many of the firms in a particular classification in order to compare charges, thus boosting revenue? Does this policy make it difficult for hotels and motels, for instance, in a tourist area to advertise their tariffs if they are at competitive rates? Does he agree that terms such as 'cheapest in town', 'reasonable rates' and so on are meaningless? Will he have this policy reviewed?

Mr Lionel Bowen (KINGSFORD-SMITH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is true that, apparently for some years past, a restriction has been placed on Pink Pages advertisements that tariffs should not be inserted, because when a tariff is moved - usually upwards - the prospective client blames the Post Office for incorrect or what might be termed false advertising, I can understand in this day and age that advertisements could be suitably worded and that if specific amounts were mentioned it could be stated that the amounts were subject to variation. If that were done I think it would overcome the problems raised by the honourable member. The matter is worthy of investigation. I undertake to do that to see whether some satisfaction can be obtained.

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