FAIR TRADING COMMISSION
POLICY STATEMENT ON MISLEADING ADVERTISING
The Consumer Protection Act CAP 326D (CPA) at Section 12 prohibits suppliers of goods and/or services from engaging in unfair trade practices, such as conduct which is likely to be misleading or deceptive to a consumer. Suppliers advertising their products/services should therefore ensure that advertisements are in compliance with the requirements of the CPA. All details pertaining to a product/service must also be made available to allow consumers to make an informed decision, since the non-disclosure of such information may also be treated as misleading and deceptive conduct.
Sections 15 and 16 of the CPA state: 15. A person shall not, in trade or commerce as a supplier, engage in conduct that is liable to mislead the public as to the nature, manufacturing process, characteristics, suitability for a purpose, or quantity, of goods.
16. A person shall not, in trade or commerce as a supplier, engage in conduct that is liable to mislead the public as to the nature, characteristics, suitability for a purpose, or quantity, of services.
For example, when advertising a Sale or a Special Offer, the items being referred to, the duration of the sale and whether any terms or conditions apply, should be included. Similarly, advertisements should not, for example, deceive the public as to the nature and process used for the preparation of a product.
The Commission has a legal duty to protect consumers. Therefore, where a supplier breaches the CPA by misleading a consumer about its products, the Commission will swiftly, effectively and judiciously enforce the provisions of the CPA.
The Commission will generally require a supplier to honour the Sale or Offer as advertised to those consumers who were misled by the advertisement. Where a supplier has been informed by the Commission that its advertisement omitted details which result in misleading consumers, a supplier will be required to amend the advertisement and re-advertise the sale with the corrected terms, in the same manner in which it was previously advertised.
Where a supplier has identified that its advertisement infringes the provision, it should immediately inform the Commission. The Commission will then determine the appropriate redress in the circumstances.
Suppliers that breach the CPA are also subject to prosecution by the Commission, before a Court of Law. If a supplier were found guilty of an offence, it may be liable to a fine and / or imprisonment, as provided in the CPA.
Persons are encouraged to contact the Fair Trading Commission at 424-0260 or
for more information.