Advertising and Sales Promotions

Advertising

Businesses invest in advertising primarily to inform customers and clients about products and services, to increase sales of such products and services and to enhance brand awareness and maintain or improve brand loyalty.

Marketing can take many forms, including sales promotions, direct marketing, endorsement and advertising online through other media outlets.

A company seeking to advertise its business, products and/or services will generally need advice in relation to working within the parameters of consumer protection guidelines and regulations; whether they relate to clear pricing (advertising and marking) or product placement at appropriate times and on an appropriate platform.

Consideration must also be given in respect of ownership and protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) in material that has been created in producing an advertising campaign.

If your business has questions or concerns regarding regulatory compliance in this field, or requires guidance with a particular contract or advice regarding protection of IPR, we can help.

Sales Promotions

Businesses seeking to boost sales or promote a new product, build or maintain brand awareness will often incentivise customers to buy a product by way of a sales promotion.

Such promotions can take the form of introductory offers; vouchers and coupons; free offers; "BOGOF" and "three for the price of two" offers; free prize draws; loss-leaders; limited time offers; competitions; and "extra volume" offers.

Businesses promoting their products using any of the above promotions should be careful not to use misleading language. For example, a business advertising a free offer (e.g. a BOGOF promotion), should ensure the promotional description is not ambiguous or misleading and does not actually incur a cost to the consumer. When offering 'free' products that do reveal a cost, the business promoting the product may find itself in breach of consumer protection legislation. Such tactics failing to comply will include the promoter recouping the cost of the promotion by increasing the cost of a product as a pre-condition of obtaining the 'free' item.

When introducing such promotions, consideration must be given in respect of compliance with consumer protection legislation and regulatory codes such as the CAP Code enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Businesses offering limited-time or introductory offers should be careful not to mislead the consumer and ensure that such offers do have an end date and are available at a higher price following the offer. Promotions advertising a clearance sale that runs continuously, or a closing down sale for a business that continues to operate may be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading.

A company seeking to introduce a prize draw, lottery or competition may have implications with UK gambling legislation depending on its structure, so careful consideration must be made prior to such promotion.

If you're a business seeking advice in relation to introducing and advertising a sales promotion, we can help.

For details of recent projects, please see our Review of Business 2014

For specialist legal advice please contact:
Mark Chapman on 01276 854928 or by email at mark.chapman@herrington-carmichael.com
Alex Canham on 01189 899717 or by email at alex.canham@herrington-carmichael.com

The Legal 500 Our corporate and commercial team is delighted to have been recognised in this year's edition of the UK Legal 500 as a leading advisor in the Thames Valley corporate and commercial legal markets

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