After being delayed following the submission of a super complaint by Which? to the Competition & Market Authority that called for an investigation into misleading Supermarket pricing practices, the Trading Standards Institute finally published the much awaited new Pricing Practices Guide for consultation on 15 October.
The consultation offers businesses the first opportunity to review the new guidance which will be used to inform the way they should market prices in line with underlying consumer protection regulations. The proposal represents a wholesale re-write of the existing guide which was published in 2010 and moves towards a principles based approach incorporating examples of good and bad practice and relevant Advertising Standards Authority rulings to help provide context.
The new guidance takes account of the Office of Fair Trading's Pricing Study carried out in 2010 which analysed the effects of reference pricing on consumers and it's anticipated that the new approach will help businesses better understand, and therefore comply with, the broad legal requirement not to trade unfairly which follows criticisms that the previous guide was too prescriptive and open to misinterpretation.
All businesses and especially those who regularly engage in promotional price activity, are urged to review the new guidelines and feed into the consultation, which closes on 5 January 2016.