Supermarkets warned to stop 'confusing or misleading' price promotions and offers

By Gillian West | Social media manager

July 16, 2015 | 2 min read

The Competition and Markets Authority has ruled that supermarket pricing and promotions can “confuse or mislead consumers”.

Responding to a ‘super-complaint’ from consumer group Which?, which claimed supermarkets were creating the illusion of savings through multi-buys and other offers, the CMA will now work with retailers to crack down on promotions that could mislead customers.

“We have found that, whilst supermarkets want to comply with the law and shoppers enjoy a wide range of choices, there are still areas of poor practice that could confuse or mislead shoppers,” commented Nisha Arora, consumer director and the CMA.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said supermarkets were now “on notice to clean up their pricing practices or face legal action.”

“Given the findings, we now expect to see urgent enforcement action from the CMA,” added Lloyd. “The Government must also quickly strengthen the rules so that retailers have no more excuses.”

In addition to working with supermarkets to cut down on misleading offers the CMA is also asking the Charted Trading Standards Institute to clarify the legislation surrounding promotions and the Department for Business to publish best practice guidelines.

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The super-complaint, logged in April, marks the sixth time Which? has exercised this power.

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