Consumer rights upped

Started by Newshound, April 21, 2004, 14:51:46

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Newshound

MEPs on Tuesday backed new laws to boost consumer rights and crack down on misleading or aggressive trading practices.

A proposal to coordinate consumer rights bodies across the EU aims to prevent citizens from being conned  by scams such as the sale of  non-existent timeshare appartments.

A compromise with national government representatives on the report by German MEP Evelyne Gebhardt will mean the law can hit the statute books during the current parliamentary mandate.

A second law, drafted by Italian Socialist Fiorella Ghilardotti, seeks to  introduce EU-wide standards to ban misleading trading practices and aggressive advertising targetted at society's most vulnerable groups.

The general thrust of the first reading report has been welcomed by many within industry but the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) stated concerns that the definition of aggressive advertising remained too vague.

A spokesman for the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) said it backed the principle of protecting vulnerable groups while maintaining credible marketing.

But he stressed that the WFA would not support any moves to apply the 'country of destination' principle rather than the 'country of origin' as this would create legal uncertainty for consumers and industry.

The second reading of the Ghilardotti report will be tackled by the new European Parliament which meets again after the June elections.





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