Précis - Following consultation, on 20 February 2013 CAP/BCAP announced changes to their price comparison rules.

What?

Under the CAP/BCAP Code, non-branded products can be price-compared against premium branded products.

So what?

Advertisers can make wider price-comparisons, but should be aware that the basis of any price comparison must be clear.

Following consultation, CAP/BCAP announced changes to their price comparison rules. Previously, advertisers were required to compare prices with a competitor for an “identical or substantially equivalent” product. Because this excluded own-branded products against premium branded products sold by their competitors it has now been decided this went beyond the requirements of the Comparative Advertising Directive.

Under the CAP/BCAP Code, advertisers may now compare products that may not be identical, but nonetheless meet the same need or intended purpose. So, the example used by CAP/BCAP is that you could now compare the price of your non-branded product with a competitor’s price for the premium branded product.

However, it remains the case that advertisers must make the basis of their comparison clear. This last point remains absolutely key, because failure to do so could lead to an adverse ASA decision and, more seriously, will increase the risk of a successful claim for trade mark infringement.

More information can be found here.