On 15 April 2022, the Advertising Board of the Ministry of Trade published the Guideline on the Advertisements and Commercial Practices with Price Information and Discounted Sales (“Guideline“) pursuant to the Consumer Protection Law and the Regulation on Commercial Advertisements and Unfair Commercial Practices. The Guideline aims to inform all advertising industry stakeholders, including advertisers, advertising agencies and platforms as well as sellers, service providers, and intermediary service providers regarding the advertising of price information and discounted sales.
The Guideline is available online here (in Turkish).
The main regulations under the Guideline are as follows:
- Advertisements cannot include expressions indicating that the goods are free of charge in cases where consumers are required to pay, except for mandatory and reasonable delivery costs. Additionally, advertisements should display all delivery costs, and in case the amount is variable, information on the delivery calculation amount should be provided.
- Consumers must give their explicit consent regarding options that lead to additional payment obligations. These options should not be pre-selected.
- Advertisers can use expressions such as “net”, “all”, and “everything” regarding prices or discounts provided that the relevant price or discount applies to all goods or services in a certain category. The advertisements should clearly indicate the categories to which the price or discount applies.
- Advertisers should ensure that expressions such as “up to”, “from” and “until” are in legible size and that the scope of the discounted goods meet the reasonable expectation of the consumers.
- Advertisers cannot use false statements on the period or conditions regarding the validity of the offer, and must grant consumers the necessary time for consumers to make an informed choice.
- Advertisers should be especially attentive about advertisements and commercial applications aimed at sensitive consumer groups such as the elderly, disabled and children. In advertisements aimed at children, (i) expressions such as “only” or “just,” which create the perception that the price is particularly low, should not be used next to the price information; (ii) they should not directly encourage children to persuade their parents or others; and (iii) expressions that imply the execution of the contract by the child should not be used.
Advertisements with price information
- Advertisements that include the sales price of a good or service should display the total price, including taxes. In instances of financial loans where the price is subject to the consumer’s age, gender, health status or relevant legislation, the calculation method of the total price should be provided.
- The prices should be stated in Turkish lira except for package tours, trainings, transportation and accommodation services to be carried out abroad.
- In cases where (i) the price of the good or service is dependent on another good or service or (ii) the good or service is promised to be provided free of charge under certain conditions, the conditions that consumers must fulfill should be clearly stated.
- In installment payment advertisements, advertisers should display the total price of the good or service and the number of installments together with the installment amount audibly or in a legible size.
- If the price’s validity is subject to a period or stock, advertisers should clearly state the period and stock amount.
Discounted sale advertisements
- Written, audible or visual advertisements on discounted sales must clearly indicate the sales price prior to the discount, the period of discounted sale and the quantity provided that the discounted goods or services are limited. In particular, advertisements cannot include expressions or images that may mislead consumers regarding the amount and scope of the discount.
- Except for perishable goods, the sales price prior to the discount is determined based on the lowest price of the relevant good or service within 30 days before the discount. In determining this price, the discounted prices applied within 30 days are also taken into account.
- If a seller or supplier sells items at different prices through different sales channels and/or sales points, the sales price prior to discount is determined based on the lowest price applied in the relevant sales channel/point within the last 30 days. A seller cannot offer a product for sale on the same e-commerce platform with different discount rates via different extension
Advertisers or intermediary service providers who advertise goods and/or services are responsible for price displays, discounted sales announcements, stock notifications and commercial applications in any medium. Accordingly, intermediary service providers should inform vendors and providers about the provisions set forth under the Guideline.
Advertisers, advertising agencies and platforms are individually obliged to comply with the Guideline.
The Guideline sheds light on commercial and trade regulations and provides examples regarding advertising activities that include sales price and discount information. Advertisers, advertising agencies, platforms and intermediary service providers, as well as the other stakeholders in the sales and advertising sector, should review the provisions of the Guideline and comply with the relevant legislation.