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Retail, Food, and Hospitality Regulatory Update 15 September

17 September 2019
Retail, Food, and Hospitality Regulatory Update w/e15 September: Iceland falls foul of advertising watchdog, Scottish Government pursues radical regulatory agenca, and London retailers agree to tackle underage knife sales.

Important Updates

Iceland falls foul of advertising watchdog over price comparisons with Tesco: The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld complaints by Tesco re Iceland price comparison advertising. The ASA found that Iceland had compared promotional and non-promotional prices and that Iceland prices applied at the time of the advertisement whereas the Tesco price was checked four weeks earlier, meaning the Tesco prices did not apply on the date the advertisement was published. View >


Scottish Government pursues radical regulatory agenda: The Scottish Government has published the following:

  • Draft regulation to introduce a 20p deposit return scheme for all drinks packaging for consultation – Response by 10th December. View > ACS >
  • Consultation on empowering local communities to introduce levies on overnight stays – Response by 2nd December. View >
  • An independent analysis of responses to its proposals to ban promotion of high fat, salt and sugar foods. View >

London retailer ‘agreement’ to tackle underage knife sales launched: London Trading Standards in association with the London Mayors Office and the Metropolitan Police have launched a ‘responsible retailer agreement’ to get retailers to commit to understand the basic requirements for the safe storage of knives, follow the ASSESS-CHALLENGE-CHECK process for selling age-restricted goods and know when and how to contact police with suspicions of knife crime or where staff feel threatened by customers. Animations for use in training have been developed by the National Business Crime Centre. View >  The Biometrics Commissioner has commented on the court case involving South Wales Police on Automatic facial recognition.


Every business in London will soon be visited by a trading standards officer and a police officer to encourage them to sign up to the agreement. View >


25 online accommodation booking sites sign up to ‘consumer protection principles: The Competition and Markets Authority has published the names of 25 businesses having agreed to abide by a set of principles: 

  • Failure to disclose the effect of payments on search results: If money earned by the hotel booking website, for example as the result of a booking or “click” by a consumer, may affect how search results are ranked, the hotel booking website must explain this to the consumer in clear and prominent static text.
  • Misleading reference prices: Comparisons between offers must not be presented in a manner which falsely implies a price discount. Any differences between the offers that form the basis of the comparison must be clearly and prominently identified. Price comparisons that are presented as a discount must represent a genuine saving for consumers.
  • Misleading presentation of prices: The price displayed must be the total cost, including all compulsory charges that are reasonably calculable based on the search criteria (such as city tax and resort fees). Charges are compulsory if consumers cannot avoid them.
  • Misleading popularity and availability statements: Statements about popularity and availability must: be clear, disclose the assumptions, limitations and qualifications that are relevant to the statement, and be substantiated by the hotel booking website’s data.
    View >

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Further Reading