who complied with the terms of the offer could actually accept but it did mean

Who complied with the terms of the offer could

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who complied with the terms of the offer could actually accept — but it did mean that an offer could be open to more than one acceptance. Offers and puff Carlill’s case was also argued on the question of ‘puff’. The word ‘puff’ refers to all those statements or claims which, although they are intended to convince the other party to enter into the contract, are so obviously far-fetched that no reasonable person would believe that they were intended to be promissory . Good examples of puff appear in television and radio commercials where clearly exaggerated claims are used to draw consumers’ attention to the product but everyone knows (or should know) that the ‘promises’ or statements being made are not to be taken seriously. Because of this lack of promissory intent, the puffing statement in the advertisement does not form any part of any resulting contractual obligation and, if what the advertisement ‘promises’ does not eventuate, the aggrieved party cannot sue the advertiser.
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© Stephen Graw 2012 It is important, however, that ‘puffing’ statements be put across so that their intended audience clearly understands them to be exaggerations and not promises. The offer of the reward in Carlill’s case was upheld, at least in part, because the company’s advertisement had stated that £1,000 had been deposited to cover contingent claims. If the offer had not been serious why had the company deposited money to cover the contingency? In a more modern illustration John Leonard, a 21-year old business student from Seattle, sued Pepsi in early 1996 for not giving him a Harrier Jump Jet like the one featured in its television commercial. The commercial was for a promotion under which customers could win a variety of prizes by accumulating points from Pepsi containers. As a ‘joke’ the company ‘offered’ the $US70 million military jet as one of the prizes — for anyone who collected 7 million points. Leonard collected the required 7 million points and claimed the jet. Pepsi refused to honour the claim and Leonard sued. He lost. The “promise” was clearly an exaggeration and was not seriously intended to create a contractual obligation. Offers only become effective after they have been communicated Contracts depend on having an offer and an acceptance to form an agreement. Therefore, because offers cannot be accepted unless they have first come to the ‘acceptor’s’ attention, offers have to be communicated and any ‘acceptance’ that occurs before the ‘acceptor’ knows about the offer is not valid and no contract can result from it. Cross-offers A practical application of this rule can be found with cross-offers . Cross-offers occur when two parties send each other identical or very similar offers at the same time. In such cases there are two offers but no acceptance and, unless one of these offers is subsequently accepted, there is no contract. Therefore, if one of the parties decides to withdraw his or her
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