The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 I will be explaining three of these laws are, who does it apply to and how does it affect the businesses. The Sale of Goods Act 1979
Sales of goods act requires traders to sell goods that are as they are described and of satisfactory quality. It also gives customers certain legal rights when they buy goods. This directly affects marketing activity because it means that any product should be described accurately and be able to verify any claims. In summary,
The seller owns the goods and can sell them.
The goods are of satisfactory quality.
The goods are ‘as described
For example Marks and Spencer’s has a lot of problems with its customer services, due to products being returned. Many customers returned their products as they mentioned that they were either faulty, wrong size, ripped etc. So this mislead customers that returned faulty products as they were unhappy with their service selling ripped or faulty clothing/products.
The Trade Description Act 1974 and 2006
The Trade Descriptions act requires trades to sell good with accurate description but false or misleading information must not be given about products. For example, accurate information must be given about who made the product. Fake designer goods that are marketed as genuine are a clear breach of the Trade Descriptions Act For example there are many fake watches on the high street one of the main one that has breached the trade description act that is fake “ice watches” these are designer watches that shops or websites have been passing on as real watches. The Data Protection 1998
The data protection Act 1998 is designed to protect customer’s personal details. This Act makes sure that any business that keeps any database of customer information is protected and the details aren’t shared. The information in the database has to obtain fair and lawful, it has to be accurate and appropriate which needs to be up to date, it also has to be processed with customer’s rights. For example the British Pregnancy Advice Service was storing people’s information on their software without the consumer’s agreement. The British Pregnancy Advice Service (BPAS) has been fined £200,000 after a serious breach exposed thousands of people’s personal details to a hacker. The hacker (a self-identified member of Anonymous) threatened to publish the names of people who sought advice on abortion, pregnancy and contraception The miscreant – subsequently identified as James Jeffery, 29, from Eynesbury, West Midlands – defaced the service’s website with the Anonymous logo before making the threats, which were never carried out
. Jeffery did, however, leak the name and log-on details of a BPAS administrator. The former software engineer was arrested days after the attack, prosecuted and ultimately sentenced to 32 months in prison back in April 2012 for the attack on BPAS and other admitted hacking offences. However an investigation by data privacy watchdogs at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found the charity “didn’t realize” its own website was storing the names, address, date of birth and telephone number of people who asked for a call back for advice on pregnancy issues. The personal data wasn’t stored securely and a vulnerability in the website’s code allowed the hacker to access the system and siphon off the highly sensitive information.
The legislation affecting on what the business can and cannot say about their products and services, marketing activities are observed by the independent Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA is an industry body, rather than a part of a legal framework; it promotes and maintains the British code of advertising, Sales promotion and Direct marketing (CAP). This is a set of rules and standards that businesses follow when marketing, it is to Keep within the legal framework, protect customers from false claims, and create an even balance for advertisers. For example virgin media ad was misleading it said that there speed was 40mbps faster however virgin is slower also The Advertising Standards Authority has banned two Virgin Media broadband adverts for promoting “unlimited downloads” with “no caps” on data usage because the ISPs Traffic Management Policy was found to contradict this by imposing an “immoderate” restriction on customers service speeds. Virgin were reducing the download speeds of some customers by -50% and the ASA described this as “not moderate“
Pressure groups are organisations of people who believe in the same cause which have strongly held views and wish to influence some aspect of society. They are Groups of people working together usually have more effect than individuals. The methods pressure groups use are, Internet – email and web sites, Demonstrations, Mass media campaigns (T.V. news) For example Battery hens were banned in the UK, but a wide variety of manufactured food such as quiche, cake and ice-cream contain liquid egg. There were eggs from battery hens getting into UK foods.
Mark Williams, chief executive of the British Egg Industry Council, says ‘it is difficult to detect battery cage eggs once they are taken out of their shells’. Global brands only need to comply with regulations in their own country and do not have to meet the welfare rules of the European Union. Chief Executive of the campaign group Compassion in World Farming, Philip Lymbery, is calling for action to ensure there is no use of battery hen eggs in imported food products.
Acceptable language as shown in advertisement it can be offending consumers so it needs to be avoided, however acceptable language can be subjective. The Advertising standards authority (ASA) has acknowledged that the key areas where some people find the use of language unacceptable, is when they Refer to sex, Use strong language or swear words, Show people in a demeaning way and offend on the grounds of gender, race, religion, sexuality, age or disability. The choice of language for advertising also needs to be accessible to the target audience.
If there’s a message behind the idea and the advertisement is not appropriate to its product then it’s unnecessary for the target audience. It all depends on the message and the target audience. For example viewers considered the very large number of examples of the strongest language in Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares to be offensive. Gordon Ramsey uses words like “fucker, bastard” etc. This is unacceptable language on national television. However he uses this type of language to threaten his colleagues and show that he is the authority.
Overall these laws are placed there to protect the company and the public however if these laws are broken it could mean bad publicity to the company for example if Gordon Ramsey threatens and swears at another worker he can scar or harm his other chefs which would mean bad publicity for both Gordon Ramsey and the BBC. These laws are also placed so the products or items are reasonable and the same as what the manufacture described them to be so these laws protect both manufacture and consumers about the items for example virgin media did not explain their wife speed and there adverts were misleading which was a breach on the laws this protected the customers because they bought virgin because it was faster than BT and sky wear else it was not this is the same if the consumer has breached the laws for example if the customers have bought a product from Marks and Spencer’s they need to have a valid receipt or return it within 35 days these criteria’s are within the law if the customers cannot meet these criteria’s Marks and Spencers cannot refund or exchange their item.