A layperson's guide to some essential trade promotion legislation and regulations

Comprehending trade promotion rules and regulations can be difficult, but is critical for CPG firms' performance.

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Compliance with trade promotion rules and regulations is critical for consumer packaged goods (CPG) firms' performance. Maintaining compliance with these regulations aids in avoiding legal ramifications, financial penalties, and reputational harm. Having said that, comprehending these rules and regulations can be difficult, especially for those without legal experience. 

While this blog in no way attempts to replace qualified legal advice, it does provide a good overview of some legislation to be aware of.

Robinson-Patman Act

The Robinson-Patman Act, adopted in 1936, prevents firms from charging different prices, terms, or services for the same product to different clients. This anti-trust law protects small businesses from being driven out of the market by larger companies with better bargaining power. This statute also covers the sale of both goods and services. To comply, you must guarantee that their trade promotions are Robinson-Patman Act compliant and that they do not participate in discriminatory pricing practices. According to the Act, you must offer the same price and terms to all clients who purchase the same goods. Businesses that violate this Act risk significant fines, legal penalties, and reputational harm.

One example of a violation of the Robinson-Patman Act is the case of PepsiCo, which agreed to pay $3.1 million in fines and restitution to settle allegations that it discriminated against smaller retailers by offering better deals to larger retailers for its Naked Juice products. Another example

is the case of Amazon, which faced a lawsuit alleging that it violated the Robinson-Patman Act by offering better deals to certain customers for its Prime program.

Federal Trade Commission Act

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act, enacted in 1914, prohibits unfair or deceptive commercial activities or practices. The FTC has the authority to enforce the Act as well as investigate and penalize firms that engage in unfair or deceptive business practices. As a result, you must ensure that their trade promotions adhere to the FTC Act and do not entail any unfair or deceptive practices. The FTC offers advice on how to comply with the Act, such as making sure that promotions are genuine, accurate, and not deceptive. This implies that you cannot make false or unsubstantiated claims about their products, and they must disclose any important information that may impact a consumer's decision to participate in the campaign.

Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act

The Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act (DMPEA) prevents enterprises from soliciting clients through fraudulent mailings. This includes any correspondence containing a solicitation or offer for a product or service. You must verify that your trade promotions comply with the DMPEA by providing particular information in their mailings, such as the firm sending the mailing's name and address, a clear description of the product or service being provided, and the total cost. You must guarantee that your mailings are accurate and do not seem like official government correspondence or bills. You must also make clear and prominent disclosures regarding the promotion's terms and conditions, as well as the customer's rights under the DMPEA.

State-Specific Laws

Each state has its own rules and regulations that govern trade marketing in addition to federal laws and regulations. Some state laws govern sweepstakes, contests, and other commercial promotions. Some jurisdictions, for example, require you to register your campaigns with state authorities or offer surety bonds to ensure prize fulfillment. To guarantee compliance with state-specific rules and regulations, you must be aware of these laws and regulations and verify that their promotions are in accordance with them. It is also recommended that they speak with a legal counsel and undertake an extensive study of the legislation in each state where they want to conduct trade promotions.

Data Privacy Regulations

When collecting and using customer data, CPG companies frequently worry about data privacy and compliance. In recent years, data privacy regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have gained relevance. Many consumers are growing increasingly concerned about how their data is collected, used, and shared, and firms that fail to address these concerns risk losing their reputations. As a result, you must offer clients clear and open privacy policies and obtain specific agreements for data collection. Compliance with trade promotion laws and regulations is crucial for CPG enterprises to avoid legal implications, financial fines, and reputational loss. Knowing the relevant rules and regulations, as well as adhering to the disclosure requirements

Ensure trade promotion success

CPGvision is a cutting-edge trade promotion management (TPM) solution suite designed for CPG companies to help them maximize their trade promotions. This fully integrated solution leverages the full power of the Salesforce platform to provide you with the highest level of data security and compliance.

At CPGvision, a dedicated team of CPG industry professionals is committed to providing excellent customer service and assisting you at every stage of your business journey. Contact us today to discover how CPGvision can empower your business with the tools you need.


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