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IN COURT PIGU DID NOT AVOID LIABILITY FOR MISLEADING ADVERTISING

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Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (Court) upheld the decision of the Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba whereby it imposed a fine on the company Pigu for misleading advertising.

The Court upheld the conclusion of Konkurencijos taryba, according to which Pigu infringed the Law on Advertising by performing deceptive actions in order to create a false impression that certain discounted products will be in stock for quite a limited period of time. However, after this period of time ended, the company published the same offers almost immediately.

Konkurencijos taryba found that from 15 May 2017 to 7 July the discounts for the coffee machine (grinder) ProfiCook, coffee grinder Maestro and ventilator Volteno were valid for 1, 2, 4 or 5 days. Next day or after a few days from the end of the offers the company would start disseminating the same information about discounts again.

According to the Court, the word “discount” and the usage of the percent sign in ads could make the average consumer think that the product prices have been decreased, and the discount will be valid only for a limited period of time. As a result of it, consumers were encouraged to immediately decide whether to purchase the product, without giving them an opportunity or time to make a decision based on the disseminated information.

The Court rejected the appeal by Pigu and left EUR 4,500 fine imposed by Konkurencijos taryba unchanged.

The Court ruling is subject to appeal.