“Black Friday” weekend is possibly the biggest shopping event of the year with big discounts offered by many retailers and brands. This year it will run from Friday 25 November and continue until Monday 28 November known as “Cyber Monday”.
Ahead of the Black Friday weekend, retailers should remember the Advertising Standards Authority (the “ASA”) will keep a close eye on their marketing and ads to ensure they do not mislead consumers. We have put together our top five tips for retailers to comply with ASA guidance and the CAP Code rules:
- Ensure your marketing of discounts across your product range is not misleading. When advertising discounts, such as “up to 70% off”, only use “from” or “up to” to advertise a saving when a “significant proportion” of your sale items are discounted at the maximum saving stated. The 10% rule no longer applies and the regulators will assess what they think is a significant proportion on a case-by-case basis.
- Ensure you do not artificially inflate prices. Comparisons with RRPs will likely mislead the consumer if the stated RRP significantly differs from the normal selling price of the product, or if the product has been sold at the stated RRP for only a short period of time.
- Either: (a) make a reasonable estimate of consumer demand for your advertised products and ensure you are able to meet the demand; or (b) ensure that you have made consumers aware of the product’s availability in your ad. This is especially important for Black Friday weekend where many retailers will experience increased customer demand.
- Make sure you hold up-to-date evidence to support all advertising claims regarding a product’s characteristics that consumers are likely to regard as objective, such as “soft touch”, and factual claims regarding a product’s characteristics, for example, “showerproof”, should be substantiated by a lab test.
- Make sure price comparisons with identifiable competitors in ads are only made between products meeting the same need or intended for the same purpose, such as comparing vacuum cleaners with similar vacuum cleaners. If the competitor’s product significantly differs from your product and that difference is likely to influence a consumer’s understanding, you should acknowledge the difference in the ad.
We hope you find these quick tips useful, but please keep in mind that the rules around discounting can be quite complicated, so if you’d like to know more or get advice on what you need to do, please reach out to Richard Reeve-Young in the IP & Disputes team at Deloitte Legal.
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