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:

Honest Ads Act Is False Advertising  The Wall Street Journal

How to Know if Direct Mail Will Work for Your Business

Here's a great lesson that applies to direct mail. Ready?... Read More

Imprinted Promotional Items ? Their Many Marketing Applications

There are many uses for promotional items. This means that... Read More

Pros and Cons of Establishing an In-House Ad Agency

There have been several ads promoting books and reports on... Read More

Good Design Makes Good Sense

Organized your pencils and pens lately? Sorted your clothes into... Read More

How To Write Ads That Get Response

Your print ads should do more than just get noticed.... Read More

Why Your Ads Aren?t Working

The president of a manufacturing company recently asked me, "Why... Read More

The Seven Second Race: How to Draw Attention Your Ad

You've decided to launch your advertising campaign but you have... Read More

Direct Mail Rules of Thumb

First and foremost - You should identify your target market.... Read More

A Quick And Easy Way Of Getting More Customers From Every Single Ad You Write... Guaranteed!

FACT: Most people don't spend anywhere near enough time on... Read More

Marketing Advertising, While Advertising Your Market!

Today in the Business world whether online or off, it... Read More

The Graphic Problem

Digital printing has revolutionized the sign industry. Current printers can... Read More

Advertising Headlines and How to Write Them

1. Attract prospects with your headline Use your headline as... Read More

Advertising Through Moms

Moms have a very powerful influence on what their families... Read More

What Does the Back of Your Business Card Say?

Business cards with nothing on the back are wasted opportunities... Read More

Create A Killer Brochure: 9 Steps to the Perfect Piece

If you are creating a brochure, make sure you follow... Read More

Ten Secrets for Getting FREE Advertising

The opportunities for getting free advertising for yourproduct or services... Read More

Giorgio Armani: A Persuasive Campaign

Lets examine the use of Giorgio Armani Company's advertisements for... Read More

Magnetic Business Cards: Make Your Marketing Message Stick

What is it about magnets that draw people to leave... Read More

Understanding The Basics Of Advertising

I get the L.A. Times delivered to my door every... Read More

LED Moving Message Displays

LED's are becoming more and more popular in all kinds... Read More

How To Make Your Resource Box Sell

Ezine Articles - they're everywhere!And little wonder. They're one of... Read More

3 Elements To A Deal-Sealing Classified Ad

Have you ever wondered why your perfectly fine classified ad... Read More

Get Free Radio Advertisement

Here's a neat trick to get lots of radio advertisement... Read More

If You Lost 70% of Your New Customers, Would You Notice?

Buyers Don't Rely on the Yellow Pages Like They Used... Read More

Why I Like The Ads I Hate!

It's been said that the antidote to liking/loving is not... Read More