Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
6/28/2017

Comparison Price Advertising Act

§ 59.1-207.40. Definitions.

In addition to the definitions listed in § 59.1-198, as used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

"Former price" or "comparison price" means the direct or indirect comparison in any advertisement whether or not expressed wholly or in part in dollars, cents, fractions, or percentages, and whether or not such price is actually stated in the advertisement.

"Substantial sales" means a substantial aggregate volume of sales of identical or comparable goods or services at or above the advertised comparison price in the supplier's trade area.

1992, c. 768 .

§ 59.1-207.41. Advertising former price of goods or services.

No supplier shall in any manner knowingly advertise a former price of any goods or services unless:

1. Such former price is the price at or above which substantial sales were made in the recent regular course of business; or

2. Such former price was the price at which such goods or services or goods or services of substantially the same kind, quality, or quantity and with substantially the same service were openly and actively offered for sale for a reasonably substantial period of time in the recent regular course of business honestly, in good faith and not for the purpose of establishing a fictitious higher price on which a deceptive comparison might be based; or

3. Such former price is based on a markup that does not exceed the supplier's cost plus the usual and customary markup used by the supplier in the actual sale of such goods or services or goods or services of substantially the same kind, quality, or quantity and with substantially the same service, in the recent regular course of business; or

4. The date on which substantial sales were made, or the goods or services were openly and actively offered for sale for a reasonably substantial period of time at the former price is advertised in a clear and conspicuous manner.

1992, c. 768 .

§ 59.1-207.42. Advertising comparison price of goods or services.

No supplier shall in any manner knowingly advertise a comparison price which is based on another supplier's price unless:

1. The supplier can substantiate that the comparison price is the price offered for sale by another supplier in the regular course of business for goods or services of substantially the same kind and quality, and with substantially the same service in the defined trade area;

2. The trade area to which the advertisement refers is clearly defined and disclosed; and

3. A clear and conspicuous disclosure is made in the advertisement that the price used as a basis of comparison is another supplier's price, and not the supplier's own price.

1992, c. 768 .

§ 59.1-207.43. Use of certain terms in advertising former or comparison prices.

A. No supplier shall advertise a former or comparison price in terms of "market value," "valued at" or words of similar import unless such price is the price at which the goods or services, or goods or services of substantially the same kind, quality or quantity, are offered for sale by a reasonable number of suppliers in the supplier's trade area.

B. A supplier may advertise a former or comparison price in terms of "manufacturer's suggested price," "suggested retail price," "list price," or words of similar import provided that, with regard to such advertising, the use of the former or comparison price complies with 15 U.S.C. § 45 (a) (1) and the regulations of the Federal Trade Commission adopted thereunder.

1992, c. 768 .

§ 59.1-207.44. Enforcement; penalties.

Any violation of this chapter shall constitute a prohibited practice under the provisions of § 59.1-200 and shall be subject to the enforcement provisions of Chapter 17 (§ 59.1-196 et seq.). It shall be the responsibility of any supplier who uses a comparison price to be able to substantiate the basis for any price comparisons made by the supplier. Upon the request of the Attorney General, any attorney for the Commonwealth, or the attorney of any county, city, or town, a supplier shall provide documentation to substantiate the basis for any comparison price utilized by the supplier in any advertisement governed by this chapter. No provision of this chapter shall be construed to apply to any supplier whose advertising practices are governed by § 46.2-1581.

1992, c. 768; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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