You are here

BEST PRACTICE: Using 'Free' in marketing

  Philip CircusIn some European countries, many of the sales promotion mechanics used in B2B marketing are seen as unfair. The argument is that such mechanics detract from rational analysis of a product and lead to the purchasing of goods or services for reasons other than their intrinsic characteristics. On the other hand, countries such as the UK see sales promotion mechanics as in the customers' interest because they are part and parcel of competition. In particular, promotional marketing mechanics have a part to play in facilitating product innovation, which is crucial to a competitive market economy.

To promote a common framework of consumer protection, the European Commission passed the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive in 2005. As a Directive, it has to be implemented in each member state within a time limit of two years.