Guideline on Advertisements and Commercial Practices with Price Information And Discounted Sales
Advertisement Board, which is operating under the Ministry of Trade, conducted examinations and inspections on deceptive and misleading price and discount advertisements. As a result of examinations and inspections, it was realized that there is a need for an arrangement to guide the wrong practices in the sector.
In this context, based on the Consumer Protection Law No. 6502 and the Regulation on Commercial Advertisements and Unfair Commercial Practices, "Guideline on Advertisements and Commercial Practices with Price Information and Discounted Sales” (“Guideline”) was published. The Guideline includes explanations regarding advertisements containing price information and the requirements of discount sales advertisements and provides examples of the best practice.
With this Guideline, it is aimed to guide the advertisers, advertising agencies, media organizations and sellers, providers, intermediary service providers and all persons, institutions and organizations related to advertising.
The Guideline is divided into three sections as main principles, advertisements with price information and discounted sale advertisements.
A. MAIN PRINCIPLES
The regulations regarding the basic principles in the Guideline are as follows:
In cases where the consumer has to pay in order to acquire a good, definitions such as “without charge, free of charge, costless” should not be made for that good. In addition, all the fees that the consumer has to pay should be shown with the price.
Without the explicit consent of the consumer, the options that occur an additional payment obligation should not be presented as selected, and the consumer should make a choice.
Expressions such as “net, all, everything” can be used if the price or discount is valid for all or certain categories of goods and services.
If different discounts are applied for different goods and services, the relevant price and the categories of goods and services to which the relevant price and discount should be clearly stated in a way that the consumer can easily understand (such as “winter season products”).
Phrases such as “up to…, from …, until …” should be written in legible size in advertisements related to discount sales campaigns. In addition to that, the scope of the goods subject to discount with these phrases should meet the reasonable expectation of the consumer.
Despite having sufficient information about the goods or services that they cannot offer the goods or services at the specified price in a reasonable time and amount, or supply them from another place, the relevant goods or services should not be advertised within the offered price without any warning to the consumer.
It has been prevented to state the good or service will be offered in a very limited period and only under certain conditions, contrary to the truth, the way that prevents the consumer to use the necessary opportunity or time to make a sudden decision and make a conscious choice.
In the Guideline, it is also stated that to pay strict attention to sensitive consumer groups such as the elderly, handicapped and children in discount sales advertisements and commercial applications, especially in advertisements for children;
a) Expressions such as "only, just" should not be used next to the price information in a way that creates the perception that the price of the goods or services is low,
b) Children should not be directly encouraged to persuade their parents or others to acquire a good or service,
c) Expressions that imply children's making a contract should not be used for the acquisition of goods or services.
B. ADVERTISEMENTS WITH PRICE INFORMATION
The regulations regarding advertisements containing price information in the Guideline are as follows:
The price offered to the consumers should be the total sales price of the goods or services, including all taxes stated in the advertisements.
In the case that a fee cannot be calculated according to the characteristics of the consumer or the relevant legislation, it should be clearly stated that these elements are not included in the price and also calculated method of these elements should explain.
Sales prices in advertisements will be in the form of “TRY”, excluding advertisements for package tours and training services that are expected to be performed abroad, and for transportation and accommodation services abroad.
In cases where the price of the good or service depends on another good or service, the conditions that must be met for consumers to benefit from the price in the advertisement should be clearly stated.
If the advertisement contains the installment amount, the total price and the number of installments should be clearly stated along with the installment amount.
In cases where advertisements promise that a good or service will be given to consumers free of charge, the obligations that the consumers must fulfill in relation to this should be clearly stated in the advertisement.
If there is a time or the stock limit regarding the validity of the price, this period and stock amount should be clearly stated in the advertisements.
In cases where a personalized price is offered to the consumer, the information regarding the current sales price and personalized price determined by the seller or provider for that good or service should be included in the same field.
C. DISCOUNTED SALE ADVERTISEMENTS
The regulations regarding discount sales advertisements in the Guideline are briefly as follows:
In any advertisement showing a discount on a good or service, the price before the discount, the start and end dates of the discounted sale, and if the quantity of the goods or services offered a discount is limited, this amount must be clearly and comprehensibly stated.
Expressions or images that may cause confusion or mislead consumers about which goods or services will be subject to discounted sale or how much discount will be applied to these goods or services cannot be included in discount sales advertisements.
When determining the sales price of a good or service before the discount, the lowest price within the 30 days before the discount date will be based on. However, the advertisements for the perishable products will be determined based on the previous price before the discounted price, not the lowest price within the 30 days. Otherwise, for general price reduction announcements, there isn’t any requirement to specify the price before the discount.
When a good or service is offered for sale by the same seller and through different extensions on the same e-commerce platform, the determination of different discount rates and amounts will cause confusion for the consumer and will therefore be against the legislation.
In addition to that, the Guideline regulates the responsibility for advertisers on price displays, discount sales announcements, stock notifications and commercial practices published in any media. Also, an obligation arises for the intermediary service providers to inform the sellers and suppliers who make sell through the system they have created.
Authors: Hatice Ekici Tağa, Bensu Özdemir, Öykü Su Sabancı