While concluding an inquiry, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) 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 ‘Hyundai Tucson’ that was found to be in violation of Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010.
The CCP took suo motu notice of the advertisements publicizing the ‘introductory price’ of the Tucson with the disclaimer “for a limited period only” that were published in the print media and on various social media platforms.
Although the ‘introductory price’ was visibly printed in a large font size in the advertisements, the disclaimer was not readable on account of being printed in a relatively smaller font size.
It was also brought to the CCP’s notice that the initial booking period for the Tucson at the ‘introductory price’ had lasted for less than 24 hours, following which the price had been raised by Rs. 200,000.
Additionally, the company had declared that all the units of the Tucson at the introductory price had been booked and the introductory price list was removed from its website, Facebook, and Instagram pages within 24 hours of the initial bookings.
The investigation by the CCP’s Office of Fair Trade (OFT) found the advertisement to be problematic as the position of the disclaimer could potentially mislead interested consumers.
Moreover, the advertisement had created an overall impression that the company had not clearly indicated the following to the target audience:
- The period during which the introductory prices would be applicable.
- The number of vehicles that were available at that price point, and were, thereby, prima facie, violating the provisions of Section 10 of the Competition Act.
Consequently, a show cause notice has been served to M/s Hyundai Nishat Motor (Pvt) Limited company on the recommendations of the enquiry, and the company has been given 14 days to respond.
The CCP is mandated under the Competition Act to ensure fair competition in all spheres of commercial and economic activities to enhance economic efficiency and to protect consumers from deceptive marketing practices.