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10 September 2021

The Safety Warehouse's $100,000 cash drop called out as fake

The $100,000 cash drop promotion gave away just $3600.

The company behind a $100,000 cash drop promotion has been warned by the Commerce Commission after its investigation found just $3600 was given away.

In December, Greenback Ecommerce, trading as The Safety Warehouse, promoted “New Zealand’s very first Mass Cash Drop” where $100,000 in “ACTUAL MONEY” would be flying from the sky.

The event, held in Auckland’s Aotea Square, quickly turned sour when store vouchers printed to look like $5 notes started dropping on punters.

Seventeen complaints were made to the commission, leading it to investigate whether the company had misled consumers and breached the Fair Trading Act. Companies that fail to comply with the act risk a $600,000 fine.

The commission found The Safety Warehouse engaged in conduct that was likely to mislead and issued it with a warning.

Around 1600 people attended the cash drop event.

Commerce Commission chair Anna Rawlings said businesses had a responsibility to be upfront and clear with the public about what was being offered.

“They must not tell half-truths or provide information that is liable to mislead consumers. They should think carefully about how consumers will interpret the claims they make and what consumers will likely understand about them,” Rawlings said.

The commission said it was satisfied this was a one-off event and the business had confirmed it didn’t intend to do it again.

Our advice

For any retailer thinking about running this type of event, here are our three top tips:

  • Think twice. We reckon it’s hard to see how anyone would think this sort of promotion was a good idea.

  • If you ignore tip one, brush up on the Fair Trading Act.

  • Prepare for a PR disaster. Making punters fight for cash may well be perceived as cruel and dehumanising.

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