Forum: Come up with guidelines for truthful advertising

That the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) is closely monitoring companies that engage in misleading advertisements is welcome news (3 retailers ditch ads for sales that never seem to end, Oct 17).

Using wild claims like "closing down sale" is an unethical business practice when the business continues for a long period of time with no end in sight.

There are also store owners who advertise "renovation sale" when hardly any renovation work has been undertaken at all in the shop.

Equally unscrupulous are retailers who price their merchandise on sale at, say, 60 per cent when those advertised items were never sold at a higher price to begin with.

One oft-used advertising ploy is the bait-and-switch tactic.

I visited a sports shop to get a pair of track shoes advertised at an incredibly low price, and was shocked when I was told that the advertised model was sold out and was shown more expensive footwear items instead.

How that could happen when I was among the few customers who arrived at the shop when it had just opened for business is anybody's guess.

To this end, the CCCS will do well to come up with guidelines on truthful advertising, which means that stores must be equipped to carry an ample supply of their advertised products.

I am sure that consumer awareness will rise further when the watchdog's guidelines on price transparency take effect on Nov 1.

More importantly, there must always be a fair deal between the establishments and the customers, even more so at this juncture where our retail industry is facing challenging times due to the pandemic.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng