Bonus yes, bonus no

It seems that whilst bonuses to bankers are a hot potato - quite rightly so, say many - bonuses or incentives to consumers to promote products or services are fine.

It seems that whilst bonuses to bankers are a hot potato - quite rightly so, say many - bonuses or incentives to consumers to promote products or services are fine.

A recent ruling by the European Court of Justice has said that national laws prohibiting the offering of any form of bonus to a consumer  - money or a sample for example - are not legal in terms of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive.

This because Article 4 of the Directive says that Member States cannot make stricter rules under what is a 'maximum harmonisation' directive, even if the purpose is to give consumers stronger protection.

Whilst a little known Austrian managed to start a World War, you can thank the rivalry between two Austrian daily newspapers and a 'footballer of the year' competition for the ruling.

So if you want to offer an extra inkjet cartridge, or a free draw for a pot of money - go ahead - you can.


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