The Competition & Markets Authority is launching its first ever marketing campaign, aimed at cracking down on illegal cartels by encouraging people to report suspicious activity.
Created by TMW Unlimited, and running across digital and social media, the campaign is designed to demystify cartels, contextualise the issue of anti-competitive cartel behaviour and incentivise reporting.
It highlights the serious consequences for companies and individuals who cheat customers by engaging in cartel activity. These can include fines, disqualification from being a company director and even imprisonment.
The CMA is already taking enforcement action against a range of cartel activity. This includes the recent case where four Somerset estate agents agreed to pay fines totalling over £370,000 after admitting an illegal price-fixing cartel. For more than a year they colluded to set minimum commission rates at 1.5%, denying local home-owners selling their properties the chance to get a better deal.
In another case, the managing director of an online supplier of posters was recently disqualified from being a company director for five years for his participation in a price-fixing cartel.
Other examples of activity the CMA is working to stop include companies agreeing to allocate customers or divide territories and bid rigging.
Ads will run on LinkedIn, Twitter and digital display targeting business owners, C-suite executives and procurement officers in companies of all sizes. The audiences will be directed to a bespoke website – www.stopcartels.campaign.gov.uk – to learn more about anti-competitive behaviour and find out how to report it.
Display advertising breaks this week, with media planning and buying by Carat.
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