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New law targets dishonest advertising and deceptive promos

13:46 11/11/2021

Belgium's Council of Ministers has approved a draft law that would prevent the publication of advertisements which display deceptive price reductions.

The law is a collaboration between the federal ministers for the economy, justice, the self-employed and consumer protection.

It will require price reduction announcements to be clearer. For instance, any price reduction applied to a product will be prohibited without taking into account a reference price. That reference price is the lowest price applied during at least 30 days preceding the announcement of the reduction.

The draft also targets "ghost customers". False reviews that extol the qualities of such products or false recommendations from consumers will be penalised.

It will also be prohibited to manipulate reviews for the sole purpose of promoting a product. Truncating messages or emphasising positive messages by removing negative ones will be banned.

In order to give teeth to the sanctions imposed by the Economic Inspectorate, the maximum amount of the fine for dishonest advertising will range from 4% to 6% of annual sales figures depending on the level of infringement.

Photo: Laurie Dieffembacq/Belga

Written by Richard Harris


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