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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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VAT exemption not for any furniture - penalty on BRW

< previous | next > 30.01.2019

VAT exemption not for any furniture - penalty on BRW
  • Black Red White advertisements from June 2017 were misleading.
  • Posters, billboards, and flyers with the slogan "MEBLE I DODATKI bez VAT" ("FURNITURE AND ACCESSORIES VAT free") suggested that you could buy at a discount price all products, not just some of them.
  • UOKiK imposed a penalty of over PLN 260 thousand on the company.

Black Red White S.A. from Biłgoraj is a manufacturer of furniture and home decor accessories. From 9 to 19 June 2017 the company carried out the campaign "FURNITURE AND ACCESSORIES VAT free" in selected stores all across Poland. The company advertised it on posters, billboards, banners, and flyers. The information presented on these were misleading to consumers. They suggested that all furniture and accessories can be purchased at a discount price in selected stores. Meanwhile, according to the company's regulations which were referred to in the advertisements in small print, the advertisement campaign only applied to some of the products.

“Advertisements cannot disregard information of this magnitude, which is the case if the campaign targets certain products only. You can't expect consumers to approach each and every poster or flyer with suspicion and immediately look for catches or implicit statements,” says Marek Niechciał, President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK).

This is not the first time where a BRW advertisement was misleading to consumers. A similar situation took place in January 2015. Back in the day, the company has been punished and committed itself to reimburse the consumers for their losses. As if infringed upon the collective consumer interests, UOKiK imposed on it a penalty of over PLN 260 thousand. In addition, the company is obliged to publish information on the decision of the office on its website and in two national newspapers.

The decision is not final.

Consumer support:

Phone: +48 801 440 220 or +48 22 290 89 16 – consumer helpline
Email: [SCODE]cG9yYWR5QGRsYWtvbnN1bWVudG93LnBs[ECODE]
Consumer ombudsmen – in your town or district

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office 
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone: +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 314
Email: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

Attached files