Marketing materials must give all the information that is important for consumers. Price information must be accurate. The pictures, text and price information placed in an advertisement must correspond to each other.
No individual aspect of the price of a product or service may be emphasised over and above the total price. For example, a bed may not be advertised as costing “EUR X per night” or a fixed-term subscription as “EUR X per day”.
Small print is not enough
Small print refers to ways of displaying price information in advertisements that are not readable or visible for consumers. This is a way of withholding information which constitutes inappropriate marketing.
Small print refers, for example, to showing the price of goods in a TV advertisement in a very small font at the bottom of the screen for a brief period of time. Similarly, it refers to prices being given in a very small print in magazine advertisements, or to a combination of font and background colours that make the text unreadable.
Additionally, it includes roadside advertising directed at drivers, from which drivers are unable to read or understand price information.
Responsibility for marketing
The primary instance responsible for marketing and price indications is the company that has created the marketing in order to promote its sales. The responsibility may also lie with the company whose products the marketing is intended to promote, even if that company was not involved in planning or carrying out the marketing.
For example, a business that supplies tickets to various events may have to assume responsibility for the price indicated on an advertisement, if the advertisement indicates that that business is the vendor of the tickets, even if it did not take part in planning or paying for the advertisement.
Image marketing and price information
Finnish consumer protection laws do not define image marketing as a concept. The marketing method determines whether image marketing should also contain the price information required by the Consumer Protection Act.
Timeliness of information
Price information must be properly timed. If price information is given too late or using a different marketing channel, it will not reach the consumer. An advertisement must provide the price information needed by the consumer to make a purchase decision. This information includes the total price (including tax) or the way in which prices are calculated.
Individual advertisements may not give a misleading idea of the cost of the advertised product.
In Finland cash payment are always rounded up or down to the nearest five cents. Payments by bank or credit card may also be rounded to the nearest five cents. The rounding up or down may not be done until the time of payment, i.e. on the final sum.
As a rule, prices are given using two decimals, e.g. €2.25. The prices of liquid fuel (petrol) are an exception, however: they can be indicated using three decimals, e.g. €1.069.