New York Attorney General recently announced an agreement with Price Chopper, a grocery store chain, regarding the way it advertises its coupons. After implementing a corporate-wide policy that limited the doubling of coupons "up to 99 cents," Price Chopper failed to disclose this restriction in its advertisements, thus leading consumers to believe that $1.00 coupons would be doubled. Prior to this corporate policy, Price Chopper's double coupon policies had previously varied from store to store. A number of stores doubled coupons up to $1.00 whereas others restricted the face value of coupons that could be doubled. The New York Attorney General received several complaints, finding that Price Chopper redeemed nearly 8 million coupons valued at $1.00 or more. Under the terms of the agreement, Price Chopper is required to clearly and conspicuously disclose any face value limits on coupon redemption. In addition to changing advertising practices, Price Chopper agreed to pay $100,000 in civil penalties and costs to New York.
TIP: Advertisers should clearly and conspicuously disclose all material limitations regarding offers, and properly inform all retail locations regarding coupon redemption policies.