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EC QUASHES GERMAN BAN ON PROMOTIONS

News, 01 June 1998

GERMAN LEGISLATION barring the promotional use of discounts and gifts is incompatible with European law, the European Commission has ruled. The German government is required to lodge a 'satisfactory reply' to the ruling within two months, otherwise the EC will instigate legal action to overturn the ban in the European Court of Justice. The decision will come as a relief to UK sales promoters and consultancies who feared that the German position could be adopted by the EC as the European norm. It is also a triumph for the Institute of Sales Promotion which has lobbied long and loud against adoption of the German stance. In a statement, the Commission said: 'The German legislative provisions, which date from the 1930s make it virtually impossible for a new entrant on the German market to provide direct marketing of goods and services on economically viable terms.'