Amendments to the Regulation on Commercial Advertisement and Unfair Commercial Practices

The Regulation amending the Commercial Advertisement and Unfair Commercial Practices Regulation dated January 10, 2015 and numbered 29232 (the “Regulation”) was published in the Official Gazette on February 01, 2022. The provisions of the regulation will enter into force on March 01, 2022. With the Regulation, a number of provisions were repealed, a number of new regulations were put into effect, and a number of additions were made to the existing provisions.

Which regulations have been repealed?

Pursuant to the Regulation, the following principles have been repealed:

  • The principle that commercial advertisements cannot contain expressions or images of patients before and after treatment,
  • The burden of proof that the goods or services subject to discounted sale are offered for sale at a lower price than the price before the discount, shall belong to the advertiser,
  • The principle stating that the act of increasing the sales price of the goods or services offered to the consumer without justification, by acting as if they are affected by price changes such as the cost of input and the increase in the exchange rate, is within the scope of Deceptive Commercial Practice.

What important changes have been introduced by the Regulation?

  • The concept of “personalized price” was defined and personalized price advertisements were included in the legislation. Thus, in advertisements containing price information, if a personalized price is offered to the consumer, both this information and the updated sales price information of the goods or services for which the personalized price is given will be given to the consumer.
  • It has been made mandatory to display the price before the discount in sales advertisements.
  • The 30 days criterion has been introduced in the current regulation regarding the determination of the sales price before the discount in sales advertisements with a discount. Accordingly, the lowest price applied within 30 days before the discount date will be determined as the sales price. On the other hand, it has been stated that although the 30-day criterion is not introduced in the determination of the discount amount and rate in advertisements for perishable goods, the previous price will be taken as a basis and the burden of proof regarding these matters lies with the advertiser.
  • In addition to the existing regulation on financial service advertisements, in advertisements where it is stated that a good or service is offered for sale with a tied loan, the maturity of the loan, the interest rate, the monthly and annual percentage value of the total cost to the consumer and the repayment conditions are required be provided with the consumers in order for consumers to get more detailed and transparent information in the area where the advertisement is published or in a website or pop-up screen via a link or warning sign where consumers can be directed and get detailed information on.
  • Biocidal products (Biocidal products are products that have a chemical or biological effect on microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, insects such as cockroaches, ticks, houseflies, mosquitoes, rodents such as mice and rats, which are considered harmful due to the active substance or substances they contain) have also been included in the current regulation as the goods or services, which currently have special regulations regarding advertising such as tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, pharmaceuticals, health services, etc.
  • In case of ranking by comparing the price, quality and other issues related to the goods or services offered for sale on the internet, it is necessary to include the advertisement phrase in the ranking results displayed based on advertisements or sponsorships and similar agreements, by informing the consumers on the details about the criteria according to which this ranking was made.
  • The criteria for consumer evaluations have also been determined, and accordingly, in the case of enabling consumers to evaluate a good or service, or a seller or providers, by sellers and providers or intermediary service providers that mediate the establishment of distance contracts on their behalf; it is stated that these evaluations can only be made by those who purchase the relevant goods or services. In addition, it is regulated that consumer evaluations will be published according to objective criteria for at least one year after the necessary examinations are made, without making any positive or negative distinctions, and the consumer whose evaluation is not published will be notified immediately of this situation.
  • Consumer evaluations containing a health declaration contrary to the relevant legislation will not be published, and if the aggrievement of the consumer who has suffered from the evaluated good or service is eliminated, this situation will also be published in the relevant place. It is also regulated that no agreements can be made or services can be purchased.
  • A number of obligations have also been imposed on consumer complaint platforms, which are frequently encountered on the Internet, and accordingly, the seller or providers, who are evaluated, will be given the right to respond at the consumer complaint platforms enabling the publication of consumer complaints, for at least 72 hours before the publication of consumer complaints, so a new principle has been introduced in the same regulation that consumer evaluations cannot be published before this period expires. The evaluation will not be published if it is understood that the consumer evaluations do not reflect the truth.
  • Finally, using methods that negatively affect consumers will to make a decision or a choice or that aim to cause changes in favor of the seller or the provider in the decision to be made under normal circumstances while purchasing tickets for events such as sports activities, theaters and conversations outside the specified limits and selling them to consumers again or at a higher price, and guiding interface designs, options or options for a good or service on the internet through a software that automates the purchasing process are considered as “deceptive commercial practices”.
Maral Celepyan Avşar
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