Sales Promotion

Sales promotion is regulated in France by the Consumer Code, amended by the Law for the development of competition to the benefit of consumers and the Law of modernisation of the economy.


Unfair commercial practices (misleading and aggressive) are prohibited.


A sales promotion commercial practice is prohibited when unfair. For example, if it contains false information or is otherwise likely to mislead a market participant in relation to the price of a product or the manner in which the price is calculated, the promotional character of the price and the conditions of sale, of payment and of delivering of the goods or services.


Specific misleading sales promotion practices are:

  • Bait advertising: making an invitation to purchase a product or to pay for the provision of a service without indication of the fact that the product or service might not be available.
  • In regard to special offers: falsely stating that a product will only be available for a very limited time or on particular terms for a very limited time, in order to elicit an immediate decision of the consumer.
  • In regard to competition or prize promotion: claiming to offer a competition or prize that can be won, without awarding the prizes described or a reasonable equivalent.
  • In regard of free products: describing a product as “gratis”, “free”, “without charge” or similar if the consumer has to pay anything other than the unavoidable cost of responding to the commercial practice and collecting or paying for delivery of the item.


  • A sale promotion is considered as aggressive when : It impairs or is likely to significantly alter the freedom of choice of a consumer;
  • It vitiates or is likely to vitiate the consent of a consumer;
  • It hinders the exercise of the contractual rights of a consumer.


Advertisement and promotional offers, such as discounts, bonus, gifts, competition or promotional games, sent by email, must be clearly identifiable by the recipient as soon as the communication is received or, in case of technical impossibility, in the text of the message. The email must provide with an electronic address or other electronic means that allow the recipient to object that type of advertising.


The conditions under which promotional offers and the participation in competitions or in promotional games are offered, by means of an electronic communication, must be clearly specified and easily accessible.