On May 28, 2022, the Danish consumer ombudsman published long-awaited Guidelines on price marketing. The Guidelines are identical to a revision on price marketing Rules that entered into force on the same date. The revised Rules and Guidelines signal a significant change in how businesses can market themselves using price comparisons and other sales promotions for products and services.
The Guidelines serve to ensure consumers are not being misled in the marketplace, as well as fair competition between traders through a clear and uniform interpretation of the Rules. The Rules and Guidelines are based on Article 6(a) in Directive 98/6/EC – Price Indications on Consumer Products and the Commission’s guidance on the interpretation and application of Article 6a.
The primary changes in the revised Rules are:
A product or service cannot be described as “free” or “free of charge” if the consumer must pay with their data, unless it appears from the marketing that the trader collects personal information about the consumer and how the information will be used. However, this is not a new practice rather it is reinstating what is already held under the law.
Traders must be able to document that their marketing complies with the revised Rules, including any use of third parties.
The fines for non-compliance increased during a revision to the Danish Marketing Practices Act on January 1, 2022. Generally, fines are now based on the trader’s turnover.
The Danish Consumer Ombudsman was also allocated a higher budget with the January 1 revision. It is almost certain that the Rules will lead to greater scrutiny of traders’ price marketing practices with higher fines to follow for any non-compliance.