(a) The term “cents-off representation” means any printed matter consisting of the words “cents off’ or words of similar import, placed upon any consumer package or placed upon any label affixed or adjacent to such package, stating or representing by implication that it is being offered far sale at a price lower than the ordinary and customary retail sale price.
(b) Except as set forth in 27.0688, the packager or labeler of a consumer commodity shall not have imprinted thereon a “cents-off’ representation unless:
(1) the commodity has been sold at an ordinary and customary price in the most recent and regular course of business where the “cents- off” promotion is made;
(2) the commodity so labeled is sold at a reduction from the ordinary and customary price, which reduction is at least equal to the amount of the “cents-off’ representation imprinted on the commodity package or label;
(3) each “cents-off” representation imprinted on the package or label is limited to a phrase which reflects that the price marked by the retailer represents the savings in the amount of the “cents-off’ the retailer’s regular price, e.g., “Price Marked …………………… ¢ Off the Regular Price”; “price Marked is………. Cents off the Regular Price of This Package”; provided, that the package or label may, in addition, bear in the usual pricing spot a form reflecting a space for the regular price, the represented “cents-off’, and a space for the price to be paid by the consumer;
(4) the commodity at retail presents the regular price, designated as the “regular price”, clearly and conspicuously on the package or label of the commodity or on a sign, placard, or shelf marker placed in a position contiguous to the retail display of the “cents-off” marked commodity;
(5) not more than 3 “cents-off’ promotions of any single size commodity may be initiated in the same trade area within a l2-month period; at least 30 days must lapse between “cents-off” promotions of any particular size packaged or labeled commodity in a specific trade area; and any single-size commodity so labeled may not be sold in a trade area for a duration in excess of 6 months within any l2-month period;
(6) sales of any single-size commodity so labeled in a trade area do not exceed in volume 50% of the total volume of sales of such size commodity in the same trade area during any 12-month period. The l2-month period may be the calendar, fiscal, or market year, provided that the identical period is applied in this paragraph and (b)(5) of this section. Volume limits may be calculated on the basis of projections for the current year but shall not exceed 50% of the sales for the preceding year in the event actual sales are less than the projection for the current year.
(c) No “cents-off” promotion shall be made available in any circumstances where it is known or there is reason to know that it will be used as an instrumentality for deception or for frustration of value comparison; e.g., where the retailer charges a price which does not fully pass on to the consumers the represented price reduction or where the retailer fails to display the regular price in the display area of the “cents-off” marked product.
(d) The sponsor of a “cents-off’ promotion shall prepare and maintain invoices or other records showing compliance with this section. The invoices or other records required by this section shall be open to inspection and shall be retained for a period of 1 year subsequent to the end of the year (calendar, fiscal, or market) in which the “cents-off” promotion occurs.History: Rule 6-76. eff 19 Oct 76, § 73.