Eight UK supermarket chains agree to set of Office of Fair Trading principles aimed at addressing concerns over special offers, promotions that could confuse or mislead consumers
December 3, 2012
– Eight supermarkets have agreed to a set of OFT principles to address concerns over special offers and promotions for food and drink.
Aldi, Co-Op, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose have agreed to adopt the principles into their own policies, following constructive engagement with the OFT.
The principles clarify the OFT's view on how promotional claims should be used so that consumers can rely on them being fair and meaningful regarding the value of the product or the existence of a discount.
They also identify activities that would be of concern to enforcers:
Clive Maxwell, OFT Chief Executive, said:
'Household budgets across the country are under pressure and shoppers should be able to trust that special offers and promotions really are bargains. Prices and promotions need to be fair and meaningful so shoppers can make the right decisions. Nowhere is this more important than during regular shopping for groceries, which accounts for 44 per cent of retail spending.
'Our principles taken together with previous guidance provide supermarkets with a clear benchmark for how they should be operating so that their food and drink promotions reflect the spirit as well as the letter of the law. We are pleased that supermarkets have engaged constructively throughout our investigation and we will keep a watching brief on promotional practices in this sector.'