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In brief

On 18 May 2023, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) issued a warning against Salon One Pte Ltd and its related entities (“Salon One“) for its unfair practices under the Consumer Protection Fair Trading Act 2003 (CPFTA).

Investigations by the CCCS revealed that Salon One had made unsubstantiated representations on its herbal head spa treatment as being able to prevent various diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, brain stroke, etc. Salon One had also made false representations that there were price discounts, where in fact such discounts never existed as they were discounted from prices that were never offered.

To address the CCCS’s concerns, Salon One and its director gave the CCCS undertakings to ensure compliance with the CPFTA.

In more detail

Between October 2017 to August 2022, the Consumers Association of Singapore (“CASE“) received 95 complaints from consumers against Salon One.

Despite several of Salon One’s entities entering into a voluntary compliance agreement with CASE in October 2019, Salon One persisted with its unfair trading practices.

In October 2020, CASE referred Salon One to the CCCS, which conducted investigations into the conduct of Salon One. Investigations revealed that Salon One engaged in unfair practices, such as the following:

  • Making unsubstantiated representations in promoting its herbal head spa treatment, in particular, that it could prevent Alzheimer’s disease, brain stroke, cerebral haemorrhage, etc.
  • Falsely representing to its consumers through marketing or staff that there were discounts for basic haircuts for both members and non-members when they never existed

Other findings from the CCCS’s investigation were that Salon One performed the following:

  • Displayed outside its premises banners offering discounted prices for specific services for an “opening promotion” that had been kept up long after the stated opening dates, which the CCCS found to create a false sense of urgency for consumers as they were led to believe that the discounted prices were available for a limited period only 
  • Engaged in persistent sales talks, which caused consumers to feel pressured to buy services and products even though the consumers had already declined or expressed that they had no interest

To address the CCCS’s concerns, Salon One and its director gave the CCCS undertakings to ensure their compliance with the CPFTA. The undertakings require that Salon One and its director, amongst other things, would carry out the following:

  1. Stop engaging in the identified unfair practices or any other unfair practices under the CPFTA
  2. Not make any claims or guarantees about the results, benefits or effects of their treatments or products unless the claims or guarantees are substantiated by scientific data or other objectively verifiable evidence
  3. Take all reasonable steps to ensure that their staff do not exert undue pressure on consumers to buy their products or services
  4. Include in their contracts/invoices/receipts for their services or products a term that allows consumers a five-day cooling off period to cancel their transactions, and make sure that this term is acknowledged by the consumers
  5. Establish an internal compliance policy to ensure that their marketing materials and practices comply with the CPFTA 
  6. Provide staff training on what acts constitute unfair practice under the CPFTA and maintain records of the training completed

Key takeaways

The CCCS continues its strict enforcement against errant companies that persistently and egregiously engage in unfair trading practices in contravention of the CPFTA. If necessary, the CCCS can seek declarations and court injunctions against errant businesses. The court may also issue accompanying orders, such as requiring the business to notify its consumers about the declaration or injunction before entering into contracts with its consumers and include a statement about the declaration or injunction in every invoice or receipt. Failure to comply with the court’s order may result in an offence of contempt of court.

For further information and to discuss what this development might mean for you, please get in touch with your usual Baker McKenzie contact.

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Andy Leck is the head of the Intellectual Property and Technology (IPTech) Practice Group and a member of the Dispute Resolution Practice Group in Singapore. He is a core member of Baker McKenzie's regional IP practice and also leads the Myanmar IP Practice Group. Andy is recognised by reputable global industry and legal publications as a leader in his field. He was named on "The A-List: Singapore's Top 100 lawyers" by Asia Business Law Journal 2018. In addition, Chambers Asia Pacific notes that Andy is "a well-known IP practitioner who is highlighted for his record of handling major trade mark litigation, as well as commercial exploitation of IP rights in the media and technology sectors. He's been in the industry for a long time and has always been held in high regard. He is known to be very fair and is someone you would like to be in the trenches with you during negotiations." Furthermore, Asian Legal Business acknowledges Andy as a leading practitioner in his field and notes that he “always gives good, quick advice, [is] client-focused and has strong technical knowledge for his areas of practice.” Andy was appointed by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) as an IP Adjudicator to hear disputes at IPOS for a two-year term from April 2021. He has been an appointed member of the Singapore Copyright Tribunal since May 2010 and a mediator with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center. He is also appointed as a Notary Public & Commissioner for Oaths in Singapore. He previously served on the International Trademark Association’s Board of Directors and was a member of the executive committee.


Ren Jun Lim is a principal with Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow. He represents local and international clients in both contentious and non-contentious intellectual property matters. He also advises on a full range of healthcare, as well as consumer goods-related legal and regulatory issues. Ren Jun co-leads Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow's Healthcare as well as Consumer Goods & Retail industry groups. He sits on the Law Society of Singapore IP Committee and on the Executive Committee of the Association of Information Security Professionals. He is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group, Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries, a member of the International Trademark Association, as well as a member of the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Association. Ren Jun is ranked in the Silver tier for Individuals: Enforcement and Litigation and Individuals: Prosecution and Strategy, and a recommended lawyer for Individuals: Transactions by WTR 1000, 2020. He is also listed in Asia IP's Best 50 IP Expert, 2020, recognised as a Rising Star by Managing IP: IP Stars, 2019 and one of Singapore's 70 most influential lawyers aged 40 and under by Singapore Business Review, 2016. Ren Jun was acknowledged by WTR 1000 as a "trademark connoisseur who boasts supplementary knowledge of regulatory issues in the consumer products industry." He was also commended by clients for being "very responsive to enquiries and with a keen eye for detail, he is extremely hands-on. His meticulous and in-depth approach to strategising is key to the excellent outcomes we enjoy."

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