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Advanced Medical Institute Pty Ltd

Encouragement Award  2015AMI was awarded an Encouragement Award in the 2015 Millenium Awards. The citation read:

NRM Corporation Pty Ltd and NRM Trading Pty Ltd operate a business called Advanced Medical Institute which promises better and longer lasting sex. They have been in a constant battle with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for several years about the validity of the claims they make in their advertising. Resisting (but failing) to say that they have been standing up to the ACCC, it is obvious that they have been displaying a level of persistence that would not have attracted any watchdog attention if it had applied to their customers.

I encourage AMI and its owners to continue the fight. Keep it up, you might say. It gives me and others the opportunity to make bad puns, keeps the courts and the ACCC's lawyers gainfully employed and raises expectations that some scamsters might even see the inside of prison cells even if only for contempt of court.


Hard times for AMI? (19/8/2006)
Some of the most annoying advertisements are from Advanced Medical Institute. Not only on television, but on billboards which seem to be on every road in the country. The wheels of justice grind slowly, but here's a media release from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Federal Court declares Advanced Medical Institute's advertising 'misleading'

Advertisements themed on "TV's Star amazing CONFESSION!" to erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation (impotence) featuring Mr Ian Turpie have been declared to be misleading and deceptive by the Federal Court.

The court declared that Advanced Medical Institute Pty Ltd engaged in conduct that was misleading or deceptive in breach of section 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 by causing the advertisements to be published in major newspapers* in Australia from 27 March to 18 April 2004 featuring Mr Turpie, and containing representations including:

  • that Mr Turpie had undertaken an interview during which he disclosed, in the presence of his wife, that he was losing his sexual potency, and
  • AMI nasal delivery system had cured or alleviated Mr Turpie of the effects of impotence or erectile dysfunction.

The court also declared that Mr Philip Somerset, of ColbyCo Media, the advertising agent for AMI, by preparing and causing the advertisements to be published, was knowingly concerned in, or party to, the breach of section 52 of the Act.

Justice Lindgren found that Mr Philip Somerset had been knowingly concerned in AMI's contraventions as he knew that the advertisements representations were not true. The court also ordered both AMI and Mr Somerset to pay the ACCC's costs.

Justice Lindgren declined to make any orders as to injunctions and corrective advertising. He thought that the conduct of the parties had ceased and there was no longer any threat of repetition. He also thought that the offending representations in the advertisements had also ceased to have any influence that might be overcome by corrective advertising.

The ACCC instituted the proceedings on 19 July 2004, against AMI, Mr Somerset and Mr Ian Turpie alleging that the representations in the advertisement featuring Mr Turpie were not true.

Following Mr Turpie's admission of his involvement in the alleged conduct, the ACCC granted him partial immunity in return for his cooperation. On 1 September 2004, the ACCC discontinued legal proceedings against Mr Turpie when the court, by consent, made an injunction restraining Mr Turpie from engaging in the offending conduct or similar conduct in the future and to attend a trade practices compliance seminar.

"This decision is an important warning to all celebrities in that they must ensure that they have used the product or services of a corporation before recommending or approving a corporation's products or services to the public", ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said today.

"The decision is a warning to advertising agents who play an important role in the preparation and causing the publication of advertisements on behalf of their clients".

A cross-claim made by AMI against Mr Turpie was dismissed.

Release # MR 183/06
Issued: 17th August 2006

Background

*The advertisements appeared in the Daily Telegraph (Sydney); the Herald Sun (Melbourne); the Weekend Australian; Sunday Mail (Adelaide); Sunday Times (Perth); and Sunday Tasmanian.

Between 27 March and 2 May 2004, AMI published an advertisement which appeared in newspapers* published in all major Australian capital cities having the following headlines.

SPECIAL RELEASE

TV Star's amazing CONFESSION!

"Impotence nearly ruined my life forever"

Entertainer and longtime star of popular TV shows like "The New Price is Right", Ian Turpie speaks exclusively about impotence in a frank and revealing interview. Behind the smiling façade, Ian was struggling with a devastating secret shared by 1 in 3 Australian men - Ian was losing his sexual potency. "Not to be able to perform in the bedroom makes you feel like you've lost your manhood. I even started to make excuses to avoid sex, but deep down I was ashamed." Finally after years of torment, Ian confessed to his wife and long-time friend Jan, "It was the most difficult thing I did" he admitted. After a deluge of tears - from both sides- Ian realised it was time to do something. It was time to take action!

"How I got my sex drive back!"

"I'm one of the very lucky ones", Ian says as he holds Jan's hand and they smile playfully at each other. "I had heard from a friend about the Advanced Medical Institute and their new treatments. It certainly wasn't easy, but I made the call and talked to one of their doctors. I was embarrassed and frightened at first, but they made everything so comfortable and easy"

Ian opted for the new nasal delivery system method because "it's so discreet and simple to use and it worked for me….I mean IT REALLY WORKED!" Clearly, it has made a huge difference to both Ian and Jan and their love life. "I feel like a young bloke again", says Ian and she nods coyly. "I can't believe I waited all that time and went through all the grief. I don't have a problem anymore and I look forward to the night time." Ian's story is not unique. Over 90,000 men develop impotence each year and many of them have found an answer through the Advanced Medical Institute Clinics. Does it give you your life back? The final word goes to Ian; "It made my 60th Birthday and I haven't stopped celebrating yet!"


And here's another media release from the ACCC.

ACCC alleges unconscionable conduct in promotion and supply of men's sexual dysfunction treatment program

On Tuesday 21 December 2010 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission instituted proceedings in the Federal Court, Melbourne, against Advanced Medical Institute Pty Ltd and AMI Australia Holdings Pty Ltd (AMI), Mr Jacov (Jack) Vaisman and two doctors.

AMI’s legal representatives were informed early Wednesday afternoon of the proceedings and all respondents, except one of the doctors, were served with the court documents on Wednesday afternoon.

The ACCC alleges that from 2008 to 2010, in promoting and supplying medical services and medications for men suffering from erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation AMI engaged in unconscionable conduct in contravention of section 51AB* of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

The ACCC alleges that, among other things:

  • doctors engaged by AMI conducted consultations with patients in a manner which did not provide an appropriate diagnosis and medical treatment of male sexual dysfunction, and
  • AMI's sales representatives represented to patients they would be entitled to a refund if the AMI treatments were ineffective in circumstances where the sales representatives did not accurately or clearly disclose the conditions on which the refund was offered.

The ACCC alleges that Mr Vaisman and the two doctors were knowingly concerned, a party to or otherwise aided, abetted, counselled or procured the contraventions by AMI.

The ACCC is seeking declarations and injunctions against each of the respondents together with a disqualification order against Mr Vaisman, disclosure orders against AMI, costs and other orders.

The matter is listed for a directions hearing at 10.15 a.m. on 31 January 2011 before Justice North.

*Section 51AB prohibits a corporation from in trade or commerce, in connection with the supply or possible supply of goods or services to a person, engaging in conduct that is in all the circumstances, unconscionable.

Release # NR 289/10
Issued: 23rd December 2010


What will it take? (11/6/2011)
How many stakes have to be driven through the heart of the Advanced Medical Institute SCAM before it dies? Here is a media release from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

ACCC institutes further proceedings against AMI

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted new proceedings in the Federal Court against Advanced Medical Institute Pty Limited (administrators appointed) and AMI Australia Holdings Pty Ltd (administrators appointed) (collectively referred to as AMI).

The ACCC alleges AMI has failed to advise existing and potential patients that it is in administration, is insolvent and may not be able to provide goods and services after determination of the administration period.

The ACCC further alleges that AMI has wrongly accepted payments in advance for treatments when there is a real risk that AMI will not be able to continue to supply its treatments to patients and that patients will not receive refunds claimed by them, after the conclusion of its administration.

AMI was placed into administration on 22 December 2010, the day after the ACCC instituted proceedings alleging the companies had engaged in unconscionable conduct towards consumers. Those proceedings are separate and still on foot.

Since December 2010, the period of administration has been extended by the court on two occasions. Additionally, on 17 May 2011, at the second meeting of creditors, the creditors extended the administration to 20 July 2011.

An interlocutory hearing has been scheduled for Friday, 10 June 2011 before Justice North in the Federal Court in Melbourne to hear the ACCC’s application for leave to proceed and for interlocutory injunctions. The ACCC is seeking injunctions:

  • requiring disclosure by AMI of the administration status of the companies and its potential impact on contractual arrangements to consumers and patients, and
  • to restrain AMI from accepting payment for goods and services which are to be provided by AMI or a related person after 20 July 2011, or the date upon which AMI’s second meeting of creditors is reconvened, whichever is the sooner.

Release # NR 091/11
Issued: 8th June 2011

And the followup:

ACCC obtains limits on AMI contracts

Today, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission obtained interim orders by consent against Advanced Medical Institute Pty Limited (administrators appointed) and AMI Australia Holdings Pty Ltd (administrators appointed) - collectively referred to as AMI.

In proceedings filed on Wednesday, the ACCC alleged that AMI failed to advise existing and potential clients that it is in administration, is insolvent and may not be able to provide goods and services after determination of the administration period.

The ACCC also claimed that AMI had wrongly accepted payments in advance for treatments when there is a real risk that AMI will not be able to continue to supply its treatments, and that clients will not receive refunds claimed by them, after the conclusion of its administration.

Today the ACCC obtained orders by consent that AMI will disclose to clients that:

  • AMI is in administration
  • AMI is, in the opinion of its administrators, insolvent, and
  • there is a real risk that AMI will not be able to continue to supply its treatments to patients and that patients may not receive refunds claimed by them, after the conclusion of its Administration.

The orders also require that AMI:

  • over the next two weeks inform all existing clients who entered into or renewed a contract with AMI between 22 December 2010 and today
  • post a prominent notice on each webpage which it operates or controls,
  • add to each of its contractual documents clear notice of their insolvency and its risks for delivery of goods or services.

In addition, AMI is not permitted to enter into agreement or take any payment for delivery of goods and services beyond the date of administration, which is currently 20 July 2011.

"In these circumstances, the ACCC considered it vital to ensure that potential customers of AMI were clearly informed about the situation the company is in before they bought into any agreements," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.

"This case underlines the fact that companies under administration are not exempt from their obligations under the Competition and Consumer Act."

AMI was placed into administration on 22 December 2010, the day after the ACCC instituted proceedings alleging the companies had engaged in unconscionable conduct towards consumers. Those proceedings are separate and still on foot.

Release # NR 096/11
Issued: 10th June 2011


The unsinkable rubber duck (29/8/2015)
Authorities have been trying for years to shut down a scamster outfit called Advanced Medical Insitute, purveyor of medications promising better sexual performance. They used to run very unsubtle advertisements with puns based on the words "longer" and "harder" which offended everyone, not because of the sexual innuendo but because the jokes had been worn out by the time most people had finished their first year of high school.

Here is the latest media release from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

ACCC takes contempt action against Advanced Medical Institute

24 August 2015

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against NRM Corporation Pty Ltd and NRM Trading Pty Ltd (together, NRM) alleging contempt of court. NRM owns and operates the business known as the Advanced Medical Institute (AMI).

“The ACCC alleges that NRM has breached orders made by Justice North on 22 April 2015, in earlier proceedings brought by the ACCC. In those proceedings, Justice North found that NRM engaged in unconscionable conduct and used unfair contract terms in the way that it promoted and supplied medical services and medications to men suffering from sexual dysfunction,” ACCC acting Chair Delia Rickard said.

Justice North made orders against NRM that permanently restrain NRM from making representations to consumers regarding:

  • the efficacy of AMI treatments; or
  • a patient’s need for AMI treatments and any adverse consequences resulting from a consumer not obtaining such treatments, unless the representations are made by a qualified medical practitioner during a consultation in person or via video-link.

“The ACCC alleges that NRM has breached Justice North’s orders by statements or representations made on the AMI website and in television and radio advertisements,” Ms Rickard said.

NRM has appealed from the judgment of Justice North. The appeal is scheduled to commence before the Full Court of the Federal Court on 16 November 2015 in Melbourne. Following the appeal being lodged, NRM sought a stay of Justice North’s orders, pending the outcome of the appeal. This stay application was refused. A directions hearing for the ACCC proceedings alleging contempt will be listed in the Federal Court in Melbourne.

Background

The ACCC instituted proceedings against the companies formerly known as Advanced Medical Institute Pty Ltd and AMI Australia Holdings Pty Ltd (together, the AMI companies) and Mr Jacov Vaisman in December 2010. At that time the ACCC was concerned that the AMI companies had engaged in conduct that took advantage of vulnerable consumers. When the AMI business was subsequently sold to NRM, the ACCC remained concerned that the conduct was continuing and, as a result, NRM was joined to the proceedings.

See: ACCC alleges unconscionable conduct in promotion and supply of men's sexual dysfunction treatment program – December 2010

On 22 April 2015 the Federal Court found that the AMI companies and NRM, by operating the AMI business, engaged in unconscionable conduct and used unfair contract terms in the way it promoted or supplied male sexual dysfunction products.

The Court also declared that Mr Vaisman, who was a director and CEO of the AMI companies, then subsequently NRM, aided and abetted and was knowingly concerned in the unconscionable conduct by the AMI companies and NRM. Mr Vaisman was restrained for a period of seven years from having a role in connection with training, supervising or counselling or terminating employees, agents or contractors of NRM.

See also: Federal Court finds Advanced Medical Institute engaged in unconscionable conduct – April 2015

Release number:
MR 153/15


Persistence! (19/12/2015)
Once upon a time the highways of Australia were littered with billboards and the TVs of the nation plagued with advertisements touting the wonderful effects that could be brought about by products from Advanced Medical Institute. Using pathetic double entendres and outright statements which would make pubescent schoolkids wince and giggle, AMI offered to increase sexual potency to the point where men and women would die of exhaustion, but with smiles on their faces. It was all nonsense of course. The company, however, has shown persistence and sustainability far beyond anything they promised to customers, and has been fighting the authorities for many years. Here is the latest media release from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

NRM found guilty of contempt for making representations about Advanced Medical Institute treatments

18 December 2015

The Federal Court has found NRM Corporation Pty Ltd and NRM Trading Pty Ltd (together, NRM), guilty of contempt of court.  NRM owns and operates the business known as the Advanced Medical Institute (AMI).

The ACCC filed proceedings for contempt on 20 August 2015 alleging that NRM had failed to comply with court orders made by Justice North on 22 April 2015 in earlier proceedings brought by the ACCC.

In those earlier proceedings, Justice North found that NRM had engaged in unconscionable conduct and used unfair contract terms in the way it promoted and supplied medical services and medications to men suffering from sexual dysfunction.  Justice North made orders permanently restraining NRM from making representations about the efficacy of treatments offered and prospective patients’ need for AMI treatments, except where they were made by a duly qualified medical practitioner during face-to-face consultations.

The contempt proceedings were heard by Justice Moshinsky on 24 November 2015.  His Honour found that NRM committed contempt of court by making representations on its website and in radio and television advertisements regarding the efficacy of AMI sexual dysfunction treatments offered by NRM in breach of Justice North’s orders.

Justice Moshinsky said that NRM’s conduct was deliberate and that the orders were "clear and unambiguous".

The statements found to have breached the order were made on ten occasions on the AMI website, in six radio advertisements variously broadcast in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Newcastle and in a television advertisement broadcast in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne over the period of 25 April 2015 to 30 July 2015.

"This decision reinforces the importance of abiding by any orders which the ACCC has obtained for the protection of consumers," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

"The ACCC will take action where necessary to enforce such orders."

The ACCC had also argued that NRM had made representations in breach of the injunction prohibiting it from making statements to patients about their need for AMI treatments and any adverse consequences that may result from consumers not obtaining such treatments. The ACCC was not successful in that part of the action.

A hearing on penalty will be heard on a date to be fixed.

Background

The ACCC instituted proceedings against the companies formerly known as Advanced Medical Institute Pty Ltd and AMI Australia Holdings Pty Ltd (together, the AMI companies) and Mr Jacov Vaisman in December 2010.  At that time the ACCC was concerned that the AMI companies had engaged in conduct that took advantage of vulnerable consumers.  When the AMI business was subsequently sold to NRM, the ACCC remained concerned that the conduct was continuing and, as a result, NRM was joined to the proceedings.

On 22 April 2015 the Federal Court found that the AMI companies and NRM, by operating the AMI business, engaged in unconscionable conduct and used unfair contract terms in the way it promoted or supplied male sexual dysfunction products.

The Court also declared that Mr Vaisman, who was a director and CEO of the AMI companies, then subsequently NRM, aided and abetted and was knowingly concerned in the unconscionable conduct by the AMI companies and NRM. Mr Vaisman was restrained for a period of seven years from having a role in connection with training, supervising or counselling or terminating employees, agents or contractors of NRM.

NRM and Mr Vaisman have appealed the judgment of Justice North. The appeal is scheduled to commence before the Full Court of the Federal Court in May 2016.

Release number:
MR 266/15


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