Misleading actions in marketing and in customer relationship

False or misleading information may not be given in marketing or a consumer relationship if this information is likely to lead the consumer to make a purchase decision or some other decision related to goods or services that they would not have made without this information.

Even if the information the company provides about a consumer product in the marketing and customer relationship is correct as such, giving it is prohibited if the overall impression is misleading.

Examples of misleading information are

  • using packaging that is unnecessarily large considering the size of the product, even if information on the size of the product is given on the packaging
  • a misleading heading or image in an advertisement, even if correct information is given in the text.

Information can be considered misleading even if the company has acted carefully. An example of this is a situation where information provided in marketing is false, despite the company’s careful action, and for this reason likely to influence the consumer’s decision.

What can misleading information relate to?

False or misleading information about goods or services may concern a number of different things, including

  • the existence, availability, type, quality, quantity and other main characteristics of goods or services
  • their origin, method and date of manufacture, usage and results to be expected from their use, and test results
  • price or the manner in which the price is calculated
  • specific price advantage, including discounts and loyalty benefits
  • terms of payment
  • delivery time and other terms of delivery.

An example of misleading practices is when a company markets a long-term product order to a customer but misleads the customer to think they are only placing a one-off order for a sample package.

False or misleading information may also concern

  • nature of the sales process, for example a clearance sale
  • after-sales customer assistance and complaint handling
  • need for and availability of service, part, replacement or repair
  • the identity, contact details and status of the trader or their representative
  • the trader’s rights and obligations
  • the consumer’s rights, obligations and risks.