Thursday, December 7, 2023

Online businesses warned about rules around claims of price reduction and ‘act fast’ messages

The Competition and Markets Authority has published an open letter to online businesses regarding the use of urgency claims and price reduction claims.

The purpose of the letter is to help businesses understand and comply with their existing obligations under consumer protection law when making urgency claims such as countdown timers, scarcity or ‘act fast’ messages and/or price reduction claims online.

It has been written for, amongst others, online retailers, online marketplaces, online intermediaries, and businesses that help clients to build online stores.

The letter includes examples where common claims made by online businesses to consumers during the shopping process may breach the law, for example by misleading consumers or by putting unfair pressure on them.

These examples are likely to be helpful to all parts of a business (and its client businesses) involved in designing, developing and publishing urgency and price reduction claims, for example, legal, marketing, content design, and website or app development.

While the letter is designed to help businesses, it is not legal advice. Responsibility for complying with the law remains with businesses themselves.

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