Commercial: Consumer - Discounts - Misleading Advertising

Marketing is an important tool for attracting customers. It is commonplace to see banners announcing bargains of "70% off the retail price." However a recent High Court decision illustrates that care must be taken with such marketing.

In the case of Office of Fair Trading v Officers Club Ltd and another [2005], the defendant advertised products at 70% off the retail price. The relevant product was offered for sale in a limited number of stores at a higher price for a period of 28 days before being released to most of the stores at the discounted price.

The Office of Fair Trading issued proceedings claiming that such a strategy was misleading to consumers.

The defendant claimed that:

there was no misleading advertising as the strategy had at all times complied with the guidelines enshrined in the Code of Practice for Traders on Price Indications issued by the Department for Trade and Industry; and it was legally impossible for them to be in contravention of the misleading advertising rules when they were complying with the code.

The court rejected these arguments and found that:

the Code of Practice was designed to give retailers a degree of certainty while granting the regulatory authorities flexibility to curtail misleading practices despite strict adherence to the code; although the defendant had offered the products for sale at the higher price in accordance with the Code, he had not had a genuine belief that it could sell the products at those prices; and the adverts were misleading.

Sales and discount offers are an effective way of bringing in consumers and boosting revenue, however, businesses should be wary of using marketing strategies that may be misleading or in bad faith.

If you require further information contact us.

Email: [email protected]

© RT COOPERS, 2005. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.

Full service commercial law firm based in the City of London specialising in Biotechnology Law, Employment Lawyers, Media lawyers, Entertainment Solicitors, Pharmaceutical Lawyers, Intellectual Property Law, Litigation, Corporate Finance, Copyright, Redundancies, Commercial Lawyers, Commercial Law, Commercial Contracts, Data Protection, property lawyers.

Contact us at [email protected]. Visit our website at http://www.rtcoopers.com

In The News:

Keep your advertising honest  Worcester Business Journal
Advertising industry steering clear of political fray  Greater Baton Rouge Business Report
The benefits of Facebook advertising for your business  Business MattersBusiness Matters

Take Your Radio Ads to the Next Level

Most small businesses do not have a high powered advertising... Read More

What Do Your Ads Say?

Make a list of everything you think should be included... Read More

Advertising Basics for Beginners

So many of us who have decided to do business... Read More

16 Ways to Make Your Business Cards Unforgettable

Every time you hear someone say "May I have one... Read More

Is Advertising Art?

Oh Grand and Glorious Southern Guru, I am perplexed. What... Read More

Testimonials Convert Prospects Into Buyers

Big businesses get instant credibility with their well-known company name... Read More

3 Inside Secrets To Making You Richer Using Direct Mail!

Making money using direct mail isn't easy. And anyone who... Read More

Offline Advertising Tips

Since most of us are always online and our business... Read More

Mobile Detailers; Customer Window Displays

Mobile detailers have all types of customers, many of whom... Read More

Media Planning: Smart Choices for Your Success

Media Planning for SmartiesYou say you're ready to advertise. How... Read More

Direct Mail = Your Money, From Printer to Mailbox to Trash!

I did a quick, very unscientific survey of 25 of... Read More

When Advertising Wears Out

One of the challenges facing marketers is determining the most... Read More

The Online Equivalent of an Effective Newspaper Advertisement is FREE

Ask anybody who has been in business for a long... Read More

15 Tips for Better Yellow Page Ads

Yellow Pages advertising is one of the most popular forms... Read More

How To Create Instantly Compelling Ads Every Time

Use This Quick 3-Question Evaluation Process, So You Can Be... Read More

Ads Dont Sell - People Do !

More about advertising by BIG Mike McDanielAdvertising is not a... Read More

Three Keys to Crafting Successful Print Ads

Want to create print ads that get results? Below are... Read More

Your Eye Catching Publicity Flyer

Your website is done, your business cards have been delivered,... Read More

Advertising on a Budget -- Part 2: Thinking Small

This is the second article of a three-part series. I'm... Read More

Crazy Ads? Maybe Youre Just Out of The Demo!

My father called me to complain, again. He's 82 and... Read More

Moving message Sign

Moving Message Signs are a unique, attention-grabbing way to communicate... Read More

Get Better Results from Your Advertising with a Disruptor

When you spend money on an advertisement you want to... Read More

How To Write Kick-Ass, Profit Pulling Adverts For Your Business?

Doesn't that just grab you by the eyeballs and make... Read More

3 Things Every Yellow Pages Advertiser Needs to Know

Too many business owners and marketers know that Yellow Pages... Read More

How to Write Ads that Pull Orders

If your ads aren't paying off then you need this... Read More