CCP serves notice on auto company

Accuses it of deceptive marketing practices in ad campaign for new SUV


Our Correspondent March 10, 2021
In the past six months, auto financing soared from Rs211 billion to Rs262 billion, a jump of Rs51 billion. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI:

The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has issued a show-cause notice to Hyundai Nishat Motor, accusing it of deceptive marketing of new sport utility vehicle (SUV) Tucson.

“The Competition Commission of Pakistan, while concluding an inquiry, has issued a show-cause notice to Hyundai Nishat Motor (Pvt) Limited for, prima facie, deceptive marketing practices in the marketing campaign for its new SUV,” stated a CCP statement on Tuesday.

It added that the campaign was in violation of Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010.

CCP also took suo motu notice of advertisements published in print media and on various social media platforms, publicising the “introductory price” of Hyundai Tucson with a disclaimer “for a limited period only”, said the statement.

In these advertisements, though the introductory price was visibly printed in large font size, the disclaimer was not easily noticeable as it was printed in a much smaller font size, it pointed out.

Moreover, it was also brought to the CCP notice that the initial booking period for Hyundai Tucson with the introductory price lasted less than 24 hours after which the price was raised by Rs200,000.

Within 24 hours of the initial bookings, the company declared that all units of Tucson at the introductory price were booked and the introductory price list was removed from its website, Facebook and Instagram pages.

CCP’s Office of Fair Trade (OFT), in its inquiry, found the advertisement to be problematic because the position of the disclaimer could potentially mislead the consumers, the statement read.

The advertisement left the impression that the company did not clearly indicate to consumers the period for which the introductory prices would apply and the number of vehicles that were available at that price point, thereby violating provisions of Section 10 of the Competition Act.

“CCP is mandated under the Competition Act to ensure fair competition in all spheres of commercial and economic activity to enhance economic efficiency and to protect consumers from deceptive marketing practices,” it said.

“On the inquiry’s recommendations, a show-cause notice has been served to Hyundai Nishat Motor (Pvt) Limited company and the company has been given 14 days to respond.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2021.

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