Home > Consumer Contracts > Advertising Agreements and Your Consumer Rights

Advertising Agreements and Your Consumer Rights

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 10 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Advertising Agreements Consumer Rights

Whether you love or hate advertising there is no getting away from the fact that it does play a large part in the average consumer’s life. Big brands spend around £20 billion a year on advertising simply to get the consumer to buy their products. But advertising agreements between traders and consumers are strictly regulated and there are consequences should these regulations be broken.

Mass Advertising

There is no escaping advertising for the average consumer. Advertisements are everywhere; in newspapers, on television, posters in the street, mail shots through the letter box, adverts appearing in texts on mobile telephones, the list is endless. However, fair advertising agreements between consumer and the advertiser do exist and are regulated by the Consumer Credit Act and agencies such as the Office of Fair Trading. Traders who advertise their products and services have an agreement with the consumer that their advertising is fair and is not misleading in any way.

Advertising Agreements

There are a number of stipulations that must be adhered to regarding advertisements and consumers, especially when it comes to advertising and the sale of goods and services. Consumer law gives the consumer many rights, and criminal penalties can be applied to the trader who misleads the consumer with their advertising practices. These laws exist for the protection of the consumer regardless of whether they are buying goods in a store, obtaining services from a company, or applying for a credit card.

Misleading Adverts

An advert will be deemed misleading if it attempts to deceive its audience, and/or cause harm to the competitors of the advertisers. In effect, if the advert makes false claims about a product and hides or omits certain facts then it can be deemed misleading. This type of advertising is not allowed and the consequences can lead to heavy fines for the advertiser.

Consumers have a great deal of rights when it comes to misleading advertising. If a product is not as it was advertised, breaks down within a certain length of time and is not fit for the purpose it was intended then a full refund can be applied. If the advertising was deliberately misleading on the trader’s part then a complaint can be made to the Trades Description authorities or the Office of Fair Trading or to the relevant agency for a particular product or service.

Advertising Terms and Conditions

Sometimes advertisers will slip up. For instance, a large retailer that advertises goods on an internet site is inviting the consumer to enter into an agreement to make a purchase. However, on many occasions the products on websites have been incorrectly priced and the purchase has taken place before the mistake has been noticed. If this happens then there is basically nothing the retailer can do.

As a guard against incorrect pricing, many retailers will hold off on the final completion of a purchasing agreement until the last minute. Payment may have been received by the retailer but goods will not be sent out and the contract will not be concluded. It is far easier to simply not complete the contract in this way than for a retailer to breach a contract. This type of practice needs to be detailed in any contract’s terms and conditions; if it is not mentioned or the terms are misleading then the retailer can face heavy penalties.

Consumer Credit Advertising

Laws regarding consumer credit advertising are also heavily regulated. Companies cannot simply bury certain facts within adverts. For instance, annual percentage rates (APR) that are shown in adverts must be more prominent than other financial information. Warnings regarding securing debts against the customer’s home must be shown. There is a list of stipulations and regulations that credit advertisers must stick to, and if they fail to adhere to these rules then their licence can taken away and they will no longer be able to continue trading.

Consumers should be able to take advertising agreements for granted, safe in the knowledge that they will receive a fair deal from traders. Agencies such as the Office of Fair Trading and the Advertising Standards Authority, along with legislation such as the Consumer Credit Act are in place to make sure advertising agreements are fair. However, personal responsibility should still be taken when entering into any contract or agreement. This includes consumer rights knowledge and the reading all of the terms and conditions of any contract before signing.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I agreed to advertise with Hotcourses for 12 months paying monthly installments. However i didnt realise that advertising started immediatly nor that the price quoted didnt include VAT. On receiving an invoice for the full amount including the VATi said i could afford this and wouldnt be able to continue with advertising. They have done no work on the advert and i have both emailed and spoken on the phone to say i couldnt go ahead with it. They now want all the money. What can i do.
Haidee - 10-Jun-17 @ 10:03 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • SHP
    Re: The Law & Verbal Agreements
    I have an issue with a landscape gardener and would appreciate any advice. He quoted £3445 to clear hedges, a brick wall,…
    17 October 2019
  • Loulou
    Re: Tenancy Agreements and Deposits
    I moved into a property my landlord stated he was the agent he has also signed my tenancy fraudulent as the owner of the…
    11 October 2019
  • Trishy
    Re: Title Deeds: Who Keeps Them?
    I have separated from my ex wife, the mortgage on the family home is in both my parents and our names it was my parents home to…
    28 September 2019
  • Peter Tomkins
    Re: Title Deeds: Who Keeps Them?
    3 years ago my mortgage was paid off. I received from RBS a 3-page computer print out entitled deeds for the address…
    19 September 2019
  • Melpeta
    Re: Agency Work & Contracts
    I work for an agency within a company, the agency are now taking us on as permanent but I’ve never heard of being a permanent…
    4 September 2019
  • Dudu
    Re: Title Deeds: Who Keeps Them?
    Bank lawyers where paid so that our title deed can be released. So where do I collect the title to our home we reside in the…
    1 September 2019
  • Dave Javu
    Re: Title Deeds: Who Keeps Them?
    "If there is a mortgage then the deeds will be kept by the mortgage lender. The deeds will only be returned to the owner once the…
    30 August 2019
  • Kat
    Re: Title Deeds: Who Keeps Them?
    We bought part of the property of one of our cousin, the heir of the property, we bought and paid in full almost 40 to 45% of the…
    5 August 2019
  • Alana28
    Re: Do I Have Any Rights to Stay in my Rented Shop?
    I have 2 water metres in my shop one for me they both are connected into one can i charge the water…
    1 August 2019
  • Urszula
    Re: Misrepresentation and Breach of Contract
    Hi, Can anyone help? As a retirement present for ourselves we decided to buy a boat. After searching on the…
    17 July 2019