Legal aspects of marketing

Legal Aspects of Marketing

Doorstep selling 

There are certain rules you must abide by if your sales strategy involves selling to customers in their homes or place of work. One of the most important rules is to allow a “cooling off period” during which a customer is free to back out of any contract without any penalties. There are various exceptions but, in general, you need to inform the customer of this right for any goods sold over the value of £35.

TV and radio advertising

Getting your message across via the mediums of TV and radio can give you a substantial marketing reach. However, broadcast advertising is subject to a wide range of regulations so you should do some research before embarking upon this type of campaign. In particular, take heed of the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising, which is enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Newspaper and magazine advertising

Another type of ASA enforced code, the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing, applies to non-broadcast forms of advertising. Similar issues need to be considered, including the potential of an advert to cause harm or offence and the importance of avoiding any exaggerated claims about products which could be deemed to be misleading.

Telesales and direct mail

When you’re targeting individual customers - or potential customers - using direct sales techniques such as direct mail or cold calling, you must allow people to opt out of your marketing, as well as checking that they haven’t already opted out using mail or telephone preference services. Data protection will also be a consideration as you’ll be dealing with personal information such as addresses and phone numbers.

Online marketing

Marketing your products using a website or email campaigns is a cost-effective method of promoting your business to a large audience without the substantial expense of more traditional forms of advertising. However, there are separate legal obligations you’ll need to be aware of when it comes to online marketing, such as the law on cookies and the importance of providing opt out functionality in your emails.

Pricing, promotions and competitions

Although you can often increase custom by making sure your prices are competitive and introducing promotions from time to time, your pricing needs to be clear and unambiguous. Sale items must refer to original prices and free product promotions should indicate closing dates.

A variety of sector-specific Terms and Conditions which may be of use to business in marketing activities can be downloaded from our Business Documents Folder. Click on any relevant templates in the list, below, for further information.

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