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Case Details

Case Details
National ID MAO:655/09
Jäsenvaltio Suomi
Common Name link
Decision type Court decision, first degree
Decision date 22/12/2009
Tuomioistuin Markkinaoikeus (Helsinki)
Aihe
Kantaja The Consumer Ombudsman
Vastaaja Maskun Kalustetalo Oy
Avainsanat misleading advertising, price comparison, price reductions, recommended retail pricing

Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, Chapter 2, Article 5, 4. Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, Chapter 2, Section 1, Article 6, 1.

 

(1) It is unfair to advertise bargain sales throughout a period of several months.

(2) It is unfair to advertise discounts by comparing with a "recommended retail price" that has never been actually charged to customers.

 
The defendant had continuously advertised its products (including couches and other furniture) at reduced prices, either by displaying a percentage discount, or by using some other comparison to the original price.

The plaintiff claimed that:

(1) it is prohibited to use advertise bargain sales repeatedly and/or during a period of more than two months; and

(2) it is prohibited to advertise price reductions that are either expressed in percentage discounts, or are otherwise compared to a "recommended retail price" that has never been actually charged in the shop.
 

(1) Is it lawful to advertise bargain sales for a period of several months? 

(2) Is it lawful to advertise discounts by comparing with a "recommended retail price" that has never been actually charged to customers? 
The court considered that specific expressions in the advertisements of the defendant were misleading, and dominating in a manner which was considered to have affected the transactional decision making process of the average consumer. The court prohibited to use the aforementioned expressions for more than two months continuously or repeatedly (so that the period for the aforementioned advertising would exceed three months annually).

Furthermore, the court prohibited to notify the price of the products reduced in percentage or by using some other comparison to the original price, if the discount is calculated on the basis of the recommended retail price (or some other price, which had not in fact been previously charged to the consumers of the same outlet).

 
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The plaintiff’s request was partially granted.