The Consumer Protection Act regulates sales promotion in Croatia.
A commercial practice is considered to be misleading if it contains false information, deceives or is likely to deceive the average consumer in connection with the price of the product or the way it is calculated, or the existence of certain benefits in relation to the price, in such a way that causes him to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise.
A business practice is also considered misleading if, in the particular case, it leads the average consumer or is likely to lead him to make a transactional decision that he would not made otherwise, which includes the parallel advertising that leads to the identification of the product with another product, trade mark, brand name or other distinguished marks of a competitor in the market.
Commercial practices that are considered misleading in all circumstances are:
- The invitation to purchase products at a specified price without highlighting the fact that they might not be available;
- The invitation to purchase a product at a certain price, and then refusing to show the advertised product to the consumer or to accept the consumer’s order to deliver the product, all with the intention of promoting a different product;
- Falsely stating that the product will only be available in a very limited time, or that it will be available only under special conditions in a very limited period, in order to elicit an immediate decision of the consumer and denied him the possibility to make an informed decision.
- The advertisement of a product similar to a product produced by another manufacturer, in such a way that the consumer is deliberately mislead to purchase the advertised product.
- Stating that the retailer will soon cease their activities or that will move to other business areas, when this is not the case;
- Stating that the product can lead to a prize in games of chance;
- Claiming to offer a competition or promotion without awarding the prizes described or a reasonable equivalent; and
- Describing a product as “gratis”, “free”, “without charge” or similar designation if the consumer has to pay anything other than the unavoidable cost of responding to the commercial practice, or the cost of delivery or reception of the product.
Commercial practices that are considered aggressive in all circumstances are:
- Creating the false impression that the consumer has already won or will win a prize or other equivalent benefit, when in fact there is no prize or other equivalent benefit, or taking any action to get the prize is subject to the consumer paying money or incurring a cost.