South Africa know your rights against deceptive marketing

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Deceptive Advertising: How South African Consumers Can Fight Back

Prepared by : SAPAC Reporter
Article Classification: South African Consumers
Image courtesy: SAPAC Professionals and Contractors


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South African News

South Africa has a robust legal framework to protect consumers from misleading advertising. This article explores what deceptive advertising is, how it's regulated, and the resources available to you if you encounter it.

Understanding Deceptive Advertising

In today's competitive landscape, businesses use various tactics to grab your attention. However, the line between creative marketing and misleading or incompetent practices can blur.

Deceptive advertising,
also known as false advertising, involves using confusing, misleading, or blatantly untrue statements to promote services, to the determent of many consumers.

This can range from exaggerated claims about a business to fake testimonials and deceptive pricing tactics. Social media in all its forms lead to be many consumers falling prey to deceptive marketing tactics often employed by WhatsApp and Telegram groups including Social Media such as Facebook and other platforms. 

The South African Regulatory Landscape

The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) of 2008 (Act 71 of 2008) prohibits deceptive advertising by sellers who aim to mislead consumers into purchasing goods or services. The Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) is responsible for enforcing the CPA's advertising regulations and upholding the Code of Advertising Practice. This code ensures advertisements are factual, honest, informative, and truthful, and don't exploit consumers' lack of knowledge.

Taking Action Against Deceptive Advertising

If you suspect you've been misled by an advertisement, several avenues are available to you:

South African Professionals and Contractors Collective (SAPAC):

SAPAC serves as a valuable resource for consumers seeking qualified professionals and contractors. By using SAPAC`s free service to find professionals and contractors, you can reduce the risk of encountering misleading claims from self-proclaimed professionals on unreliable websites and social media platforms.

Consumers can now also report issues within all disciplines to SAPAC and obtain the relevant legal reports that will be required by their legal practitioners. To advance their claims faster and more reliably.

SAPAC monitors and displays all relevant live online scams including listing them and amongst other monitors directories that is listing contractors including Social Media Groups. 

In terms of these "few" functions, not all mentioned in this article. Consumers and marketers are well advised to look into and study the Cyber Crimes Act 19 of 2020. Amongst the many pieces of legislation, regulations including SANS Regulations governing the professional and contracting disciplines.

Remember: When encountering an advertisement that seems too good to be true, it probably is. And when encountering the cheapest contractor you most probably will end up with issues. If however this does happen you are most welcome to contact SAPAC. By familiarizing yourself with your rights and the resources available, you can protect yourself from deceptive advertising practices. 


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