The Advertising Regulation was amended in a way to include new measures and rules to regulate advertisements containing misleading price information and to protect consumers against unfair commercial practices. The amendments entered into force in March 2022. In addition, the Advertisement Board prepared the Guideline on Advertisements Containing Price Information, Discount Sales Advertisements and Commercial Practices” (“Guideline”) that took effect in April 2022. Together, the Regulation and Guideline aim to protect the rights of consumers by preventing the publication of advertisements that are unclear or misleading to consumers,
New rules enacted in the Regulation implemented additional measures to protect consumers against advertisements containing misleading price information and discount sales promotions. Some of the prominent regulations are as follows:
- The lowest price applied within the last thirty days prior to the application of the discount should be taken as a basis for determining the sales price of any good or service before the discount.
- Terms such as “all”, “everything” cannot be used unless a price or discount advertisement applies to all goods or services in the store or in a specific category.
- In advertisements related to discount sales campaigns, the words "up to", "from", "to" must be included in legible sizes.
- Untrue claims that a good or service will be offered for a very limited period of time aimed at Influencing the consumer to make a sudden decision and depriving him of the necessary opportunity or time to make an informed choice are disallowed.
- Additional care is required in sales advertisements and commercial practices aimed at sensitive consumer groups such as children, elders, or disabled people.
- The price presented to consumers in advertisements must be the total selling price of the good or service, including all taxes.
- Sales prices should be denominated with “Turkish Lira”, “TL” or “₺”.
- If there are expenses arising from the delivery of the goods or services and to be paid by the consumer then the consumer should be informed of it and its price. If the amount is not certain, consumers should be informed of the calculation method.
- In advertisements where instalment amounts are given, the total price of the advertised good or service and the number of instalments should be displayed together with the number of instalments in a readable size or should otherwise be audibly indicated.
- If there is a time or stock limit regarding the validity of the price, this time period and amount of stock should be clearly stated in the advertisements.
The Guideline contains tips for best practice in addition to the fundamental principles mentioned above. In discount sales advertisements the price prior to the discount and the start and end dates of the discounted sale should be stated. If the quantity of the goods or services offered for sale at a discount is limited, then this amount must be clearly and intelligibly announced in the advertisement.
Expressions or images that may mislead consumers by causing confusion about which goods or services are subject to discount, how much of a discount will be applied, or that may create the impression that more discounts are applied than in reality cannot be included in discount advertisements. It is against the law that a product is offered for sale on the same e-commerce platform and by the same seller with different discount rates when accessed through different channels.
The Advertisement Board closely monitors the advertisements containing price information and discount sales promotions. For instance, in December 2022 the Board issued an administrative monetary fine of TRY 15,566 and a cease order against advertisements in which the price of the products offered for sale was indicated in Euros without including the total purchase price inclusive of tax.
As a result, we are of the opinion that both amendments made in the Regulation and the Guideline, are important developments in Turkish advertisement law.