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Types Of Advertisement Part II

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) has time and again through its daily surveillance picked on advertisements with misleading elements. This week we continue to shed light on the
19 Feb 2018 11:24
Types Of Advertisement Part II
Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission chief executive officer Joel Abraham.

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) has time and again through its daily surveillance picked on advertisements with misleading elements.

This week we continue to shed light on the types of advertisements which traders and service providers engage in which can be deceptive in nature.

 

Price Comparison Taglines:

Businesses use differential comparison taglines to market their products and services, and such comparison taglines could be in the form of price or quality comparisons.

Using such comparison taglines are legal as long as businesses are able to substantiate the claims expressed in the tagline.

Few examples of comparison tagline identified by FCCC are “Lowest Price in Fiji”, “Best Shop in Town”, “It’s crazier than ever”, “The Home of the Lowest Price”, “Mega Clearance Sale” and “Biggest Sale of the Year”.

 

Price Range Advertisements or Statements or Representations:

Statements or representations about the price of a range of goods or services should not give a misleading impression on the price.

For example, if a business advertises price “from $20” would be likely to mislead if there is only one price in the store, and the next price is, let’s say $80. By advertising “from $20”, there should be range of prices between $20 and the next dollar value, perhaps $30 or $40 or $45 or $50 and so forth

Similarly, the use of words like “Up to….” Example when used in relation to claimed price savings or other benefits, e.g. “save up to $20 on every purchase” or “Discounts up to 10 per cent”) could also mislead if the figure indicated is not representative of the majority of cases.

Where a general price range, such as “from $20 to $110” or “Discounts up to 20 per cent” is referred to in relation to a group of items which are substantially similar but differ in price, it would be more informative and prudent if the business clearly mentions in the stores on which good or services these discounts or savings are applicable.

Businesses must also keep a reasonable stock of such goods or services on which discount or savings applies, until the promotional sale lasts.

‘Price Reduction Claim’ Advertisements:

Advertisements which offer credit or finance may be misleading or deceptive if the advertisement fails to disclose the nature of such credit or finance or its source and its terms.

Advertisements offering credit or finance must comply with consumer laws of Fiji, and should include all full particulars of nature of such credit or finance, its source and its terms.

Advertisements which states cash price of a product, followed by a periodic payment, example “$250 or $5 per week”, and which fails to disclose interest or other charges attaching to the periodic payments can mislead consumers.

Advertisers can avoid that likelihood by making their advertisements more informative and by stating clearly any charges attaching to the alternative periodic payments, example “Cash Price $250, or $30 deposit plus $5 weekly for 52 weeks = $290.00”, $290 being the total amount payable by the consumer opting for the alternative periodic payments offered by the business.

The advertisements must clearly outline whether the product is offered for sale at ‘Cash Price’ or under ‘period payment options (such as Hire Purchase)’.

‘Special Offers’ Advertisements

Advertisements may be misleading or deceptive if they imply that an offer is only available for a limited period, when in fact the offer is continuously available.

Similarly, advertisements which offers free gifts and has attached conditions “First 10 Customers to get Free Gift”, “Only on first two Days”, “Upon purchase of tiger brands”, “By shopping for $50”, raises concern as such advertising maneuvers are done to lure the consumers, only to discover that the gifts come with conditions.

 

In the last part of a three-part series, next week we will look into what ‘price comparison claims’ are and other advertising strategies used by traders and service providers.

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