The sales promotion industry is significantly more developed in the United States than in Europe, where the United Kingdom leads other EU member states. In the UK, sales promotion activities are relatively free from legal constraints, with self-polieing, in alignment with the industry's code of practice, being the norm. Supermarket retailing in the United Kingdom is dominated by a few key players and decisions regarding acceptance of manufacturers' sales promotion activities are centralized. Cost-effectiveness is increased as the sales promotion handling house is able to use the retailing groups' own administrative processes. Cultural differences also affect consumers' acceptance of different sales promotion techniques. Furthermore, the legal position of sales promotion techniques in different EU countries varies (see Table 19.6). In general, greater freedom is found in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain, Legal controls are stricter in the Benelux countries, Germany and, notably so, in Norway. Outside the EU, countries like Poland. Hungary, Russia and the Czech Republic have relatively liberal policies on promotions and incentives, whereas Switzerland appears to be the most restrictive.M The European market for sales promotion remains fragmented for the time being and, until true harmonization is achieved, marketers must retain a sensitivity to national constraints and adapt strategies to fit individual country markets (see Marketing Highlight 19.2).
A straight reduction in price on purchases during a stated period of time.
Promotional money paid by manufacturers to retailers in return for un agreement tofeature the manufacturer's product in some way.
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