Swisse founder to sue ABC over The Checkout

Updated: ABC stands by its broadcast of a story about Swisse vitamins and having the claims "independently tested in court."

3chktThat didn’t take long.

ABC’s The Checkout is facing a defamation suit from the family behind Swisse vitamins.

Fairfax reports Avni Sali, the father of Swisse chief executive Radek Sali, claims he was ‘‘severely injured in his reputation and standing’’ after an episode last month in which Craig Reucassel said a case of Swisse’s product ‘‘highlights everything that’s wrong with the regulation of natural medicines in Australia’’.

A writ filed with the Victorian Supreme Court claims that The Checkout defamed him by saying he ‘‘manipulated’’ clinical tests of a Swisse appetite suppressant to benefit the company.

Reucassel, Julian Morrow, and CJZ executive producer Nick Murray and the ABC are named as defendants.

“We deny all the ridiculous imputations and will be defending it vigorously,” said Murray.

It’s the first legal case for The Checkout, but not the first time The Chaser team has faced legal hurdles.

The Checkout, which premiered 6 weeks ago, has 4 lawyers listed on its closing credits.

UPDATED: In a statement the ABC said:

The ABC can confirm that on April 26 defamation proceedings were brought against the ABC, Craig Reucassel, Julian Morrow and Nick Murray re: a recent segment on ABC1’s The Checkout.

The plaintiff is Professor Avni Sali, father of the CEO of Swisse Vitamins.

The proceedings concern a segment on Complementary Medicines which aired in Episode 1 of The Checkout (Thursday March 21 at 8pm on ABC1).

ABC is preparing its response to the claim but stands by the broadcast.

Craig Reucassel said “We look forward to these claims being independently tested in court.”

Julian Morrow distanced himself from Craig’s comments for legal reasons and because he wants to star in a Swisse advert one day.

No further comment will be made at this time.

32 Responses

  1. @ jezza the first original one. Love the Checkout, and many more series must be assured?, simply because they have only just scratched the surface.Don’t trust Swisse, trust Lawyers???

    We must remember that many of our legislators are lawyers by qualifications and nature, and of course such qualifications should be a definite advantage, but something I can never understand, is that many of our laws, regulations and taxation rules etc. nearly always seem to be open ended or have obvious loopholes and are frequently challenged and defeated by inbuilt legal technicalities?

    Regarding the need for supplementary medicines, in a perfect world of fresh produce there should be no need for many, and unless organic produce is given away for free, there is always the risk from the worst pollutant of all “Greed”. Because I live in regional Australia, perhaps a similar vitamin quality check of so called fresh produce is called for, because it seems most so called fresh produce items seem to to timed to the Nth degree between store, home and one/two day spoilage, so freshness is often very suspect.

  2. I wonder if one of the 4 lawyers is Jullian Morrow himself. I love this show, and every time is see the Nicole Kidman Swisse ad i keep seeing Craig doing his impersonation. Good on this idiot for bring this show publicity, the more Australian’s watch the better.

    By the way anyone who has not seen this show, try and see the ‘guilty mum’ segments, tv gold. lmao

  3. Yeah I just realized this morning no F1 this week, as for Swisse maybe I’m just not watching the right shows and they do tend to play more race weekends.

    I agree that is appears Swisse doesn’t have a leg to stand on but time will tell if they go through with this but I’m sure it will be years before it’s resolved if they stick to this guns.

  4. @Riga: trouble is i’m betting 99% of us would say our diet is deficient. it should really be “if a qualified doctor says you should take them”, because unless you’re dieting and writing down everything you eat, it’s hard to tell off the top of your head what exact vitamins you’re deficient in. but yeah always best to get vitamins from, you know, actual food lol

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