The Ministry of Trade (“Ministry“) amended the Regulation on Commercial Advertisements and Unfair Commercial Practices (“Regulation“) on 3 February 2021. The amendment added a new example of a misleading commercial practice to the “Examples of Unfair Commercial Practices” list in the appendix of the Regulation.
Further to the amendment, “misleading packaging executions that give the impression that the price of the product remains the same, while measure components of the product such as item, length, weight or volume have been changed in a way to adjust the unit price of the product” will be deemed a misleading commercial practice. Misleading commercial practices are unfair commercial practices and are prohibited. As such, introducing a product into market by decreasing its weight in grams but maintaining the price of the original weight and passing this off to end customers, resulting in an increase of the unit price, may be deemed non-compliant with the Regulation.
Measures imposed on companies carrying out unfair commercial practices contrary to the Regulation are set forth under Article 77 of the Consumer Protection Law (“Law“). As per the Law, those who carry out unfair commercial practices are sanctioned with a preventive suspension or suspension of the unfair commercial practice for up to three months or an administrative fine of TRY 11,429 for the year 2021. The Advertisement Board is authorized to impose these sanctions together or separately, depending on the nature of the breach. For countrywide breaches, the administrative fine is TRY 114,326 for the year 2021. In addition, if the breach is caused advertisement activities, additional sanctions determined for non-compliance of advertisements would also apply.
The Ministry continues to take legislative actions for the protection of consumers. All relevant companies must carefully review the amendments to the Regulation and take necessary steps to ensure full compliance with the relevant legislation regarding their commercial advertising activities.