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Be careful how you promote your business

Announcements from the government has promised a crackdown on companies and businesses using aggrieve marketing techniques and misleading promotional claims. Consumer Minister Gerry Sutcliffe has plans to stop unfair selling practices by way of misleading claims and aggressive marketing. December 207 will see the EU's Unfair Commercial Practices Directive become law in the UK. Certain practices will be outlawed such as:
  • Intimidating doorstep sales
  • Premium phone rates for 'winners' to call
  • Bogus 'closing down' sales
  • Targeting children to encourage parents to buy
  • Advertising non-existing low price items to try and sell customers higher-priced goods
  • False claims of a better deal if they sign up immediately
This legislation is not prescriptive; rather it is based on principles. This allows relevant authorities the power to act against new scams as and when they become problematic. Authorities will not need to wait for a specific legislation to outlaw the practices. The protection will be enforced for sales online, via telephone, or from outlets. Specific measures to protect vulnerable customers (aged, housebound) are also in place.
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