ISBA warns of EC text-to-win ban

The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) is warning that “text-to-win” competitions in the UK are threatened by the European Commission’s proposals on sales promotion.

Under the proposed regulations, the European Commission plans to clamp down on all premium-rate sales promotions, including text-messaging. ISBA director of public affairs Ian Twinn says: “The proposals could mean that a stop will be put to all text-to-win promotions, which cost, on average, about 25p. In effect, this would ban one of the most popular ways of entering competitions.”

Last week, the Department of Trade and Industry held a meeting with telecoms providers, including BT and Vodafone, to discuss the proposals – which were criticised as “ridiculous” by most at the meeting.

The proposals, yet to be approved by EU governments, are designed to break down national barriers on sales promotions. They are currently being considered by the European Council of Ministers, which has yet to announce a date when it will rule on the proposals.

ISBA also recently expressed concerns about how the proposals could severely limit popular sales promotion techniques such as “sales below cost” (MW September 23). Sales below cost is a tactic used extensively by retailers such as Asda and Tesco.

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