ISP slams European agencies for failure to defend bogofs

The Institute of Sales Promotion (ISP) has hit out at European agencies for not doing enough to fight a proposed ban on buy-one-get-one-free (bogof) offers.

ISP chairman Simon Mahoney has accused them of standing by while the European Commission prepares to outlaw a number of sales promotion techniques, including prize draws, money-off coupons and bogofs.

Germany, where sales promotion is largely outlawed, has led calls for European law to be harmonised in line with its model.

The ISP’s call for a widespread lobbying campaign to fight the proposals has been largely ignored in the rest of Europe, according to Mahoney. “The European agencies are hiding behind government legislation. They have realised that their profits could be affected if the laws on sales promotion are harmonised along UK lines, because we have the expertise.

“Over the next few months, the ISP will move to distance itself from the European Federation of Sales Promotion on this issue.”

The ISP is encouraging agencies and promoters to use the European Promotion Marketing Alliance’s new Website (at, which is designed to help lobbyists.

The Commission’s Expert Group on Commercial Communications is to report on bogofs in April. Its opinion will form the basis of a communication, due in the second half of this year, which will provide the basis of legislation harmonising marketing law across Europe.

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