Temporary discount campaigns may not be extended
Advertising with time-limited discount campaigns such as a discount on the occasion of a company anniversary is generally permitted. It can be problematic if a discount campaign is extended beyond the time limit.
For example in a case that the Federal Court of Justice had to decide (judgment of July 7, 2011, Az .: I ZR 173/09): A furniture store advertised with a birthday discount and the period within which the discount should apply several times extended. In the last instance, the BGH regards this procedure as misleading.
The court justified its view as follows, among other things: “ If fixed time limits are specified from the outset in the announcement of the special event, the merchant must generally adhere to this . The question of misleading depends largely on how the public understands the advertising with a limited sales campaign or a price advantage granted for a limited period according to the circumstances of the specific case. A misconception is usually generated among consumers if the entrepreneur already intends to extend the campaign when the advertisement for an anniversary discount appears, but does not express this sufficiently clearly in the advertisement. Because a reasonably well-informed and reasonably attentive and critical average consumer will assume that the entrepreneur actually wants to meet the specified end date in the event of an unconditional offer of such a discount with the specification of an end date . ”
“The judgment shows once again that the legal framework must be complied with for every advertisement. The following applies to discount campaigns in the future: If the campaigns are limited in time, they should not be extended under any circumstances. As an exception, the Federal Court of Justice sees the possibility of a time extension only if unforeseen events have occurred during the campaign period, ”explains Rolf Albrecht, specialist lawyer for industrial property rights and information technology law at the law firm volke2.0.