There are limitations and constraints on marketing activities because there are many ways in which people can abuse marketing techniques. Marketing needs rules because there are certain laws which people have to take in order to sell their products legally. Marketing could include selling dangerous products or products in which you don’t know are dangerous. Precautions have to be made in those certain cases. People could scam you into buying a product so limitations help keep people from doing that to you if you’re buying a product. The European Union are the people who are in charge of the mishaps that happen when people are selling a product. They make sure that Businesses are kept up to date with changes in the law. These laws must be kept at all times otherwise it is known as illegal action, so all the codes must be kept.
Sales of Goods Act 1979
This requires traders to only sell products and other goods that are at a decent quality. This means that a trader cannot just give and sell products that are not at a good quality. If a trader does this, then it means that you can claim from the trader who has given a bad quality product to you. When a trader is selling a product, then it means that you cannot lie when advertising because a person may describe a product as “fantastic” but it’s not. Another reason is because there are health and safety reasons, so some buyers might be harmed in anyway by that product that has been sold to them.
This affects M&S marketing activity because this means that any products they have they must have an accurate description, they cannot lie deliberately to increase their sales in any way possible. Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
This act requires traders to be fair when selling a product. This means that the traders must act honestly and fairly around their customers. If a trader is selling their product, the main characteristics of the product must be true. If a trader hands out any information about themselves to the customers then whatever they say about that must be true, e.g. any awards they have received or any qualifications. A trader is not allowed to use heavy tactics to sell their products because that would also be unfair to the customer. Some businesses host things like closing down sales, even though they do not plan too, that is also disallowed. This influences M&S marketing activities because M&S are a big popular brand, so this will affect them in a good way because acting fairly and honestly will boost their sales up because they can be trusted by the customer, but if they are not fair then people will go somewhere else because they know that their prices are extortionate anyway.
Consumer Credit Acts 1974 and 2006
This act complies with businesses offering goods and services on credit. The Act requires businesses such as bank and loan companies to give notices on whether how long they have to pay the loan off from the consumer or just general notice and updates on their account. This act is normally complied with businesses such as Wonga, Banks, money supermarket.com. These businesses hand out loans to the public, but have to pay over a short term. Any complaints between the business and the customer are settled by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). This affects M&S marketing because this sort of deal would persuade the customers to go to the store because they have the freedom of paying on a short term, but this could cause a lot of problems for the company because there could be a lot of customers who wouldn’t pay on time.
Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000
This act is selling goods or a service without any face to face contact. This act requires being clear on the product you are selling and to provide clear information, so the customers know what they are buying and can make good informed decisions on whether the product is good and suitable for them to buy. This act also states that the buyer can cancel whatever their buying with immediate effect meaning that there is a right for the customer not too accept the product which they have bought. This act also requires a clear confirmation in writing. This is affects M&S marketing activities because it’s harder to sell their products online because they can’t persuade as much for people to buy their products.
Data Protection Act 1998
This act is made to people who don’t want their information given out by other companies. It’s designed to make customers feel safe when using credit/debit cards. This rule is made so customers do not get hassled in any way. Customers get confused to how other companies had got their information and that is because other companies have paid a certain fee out to get those particular persons details. The Data Protection Act is misused by companies all the time because companies want to try and sell their products. This act affects M&S marketing because they want to sell their products as well, so without having a written consent by that person, they are not allowed by law to be selling their products by phone or by any other way.
Voluntary Codes of Advertising Practice
This act means that in any advertisement, the marketing advert should not contain any ways to offend the customer. Adverts which misuse this rule contain language to do with, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability. The marketing activities used by businesses are valued and searched by The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA is an industry that promotes the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP). This affects M&S marketing because every way that they advertise, they have to make sure that they do not offend anyone in any way from the list above. The marketing that they use takes long because M&S are a popular company and are a well known brand, so offending anyone can affect the amount of people who buy their products. So they have to check every advert they do to keep their popularity and sales high. Pressure Groups
A pressure group is a set of people who work and try and influence the businesses who don’t necessarily agree with that particular group. They try and protect for what they believe in. Groups may promote that particular issue and try and raise it up to the government. Pressure groups operate at local, sub regional, national and international level. They have strong views about what they are campaigning and wish to influence the public.
Pressure groups have to inform the government and the police about when they are going to be protesting on streets. Their rights include protesting, holding meetings, making their views know to the public and criticizing the public. This affects M&S marketing because if their pressure groups are stood outside the store, then that draws customers away from the store which reduces their sales. It affects Alton Towers marketing because if Alton towers expanded e.g. in a countryside area then pressure groups would interfere because the public don’t want their area crowded, so this reduces their chance of being successful because they are unable to expand. Consumerism
Consumerism is a movement towards the health and safety of consumers. It promotes the improvement of safety and truthful packaging and advertisement. It sometimes gives more strength to consumers over businesses. It gives them the right to be safe, be informed and be heard. Consumers have the right for the products to be safe and for the product to be at a high quality. Products in some case have to be ethically produced if consumers have more power than businesses. This affects M&S marketing because when they purchase their products from a provider, before they advertise it, they have to check it to make sure it is safe and at a high quality.