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Extended Black Week..Is that even allowed?

I just received an email from my old gym that made me wonder. It was about the extension of their “Black Week” promotion, an offer that was only supposed to be valid for a limited time. As a lawyer, this news immediately put me into analysis mode. I started to think about the legal tricks and pitfalls of such extended discount campaigns. In this article, I would like to share with you my thoughts on this and break down the legal aspects that play a role. Many providers do not think about their own marketing measures. They lack an awareness of the problem. But that can quickly become expensive!

Legal assessment of the extension of discount campaigns

Extending a discount campaign that was originally limited in time is a complex legal issue. According to the Federal Court of Justice (judgment of 07.07.2011 – I ZR 173/09), such an extension can be regarded as a misleading and anti-competitive act. By setting a deadline, the customer is put under pressure to make a quick purchase decision. If this period is then unexpectedly extended, this can be interpreted as deceiving the consumer.

This legal assessment is supported by further judgments of the Federal Court of Justice. In the judgments of July 7, 2011 (I ZR 181/10 – spring special; I ZR 173/09 – 10% birthday discount), it was clarified that advertising is misleading if it contains untrue information about the duration of a discount. In principle, a company must adhere to the end date of a discount campaign stated in the advertising. An extension beyond this date can be considered misleading advertising, especially if the company already had the intention to extend the advertisement when it was placed, but did not communicate this clearly.

However, the BGH also differentiates between the reasons for an extension. If the extension is based on circumstances that only arose after the advertisement was placed and were not foreseeable, an extension may be permissible. However, the economic success of a discount campaign is not one of the reasons that can justify an extension. Companies must check in each individual case whether the circumstances leading to the extension were already known or foreseeable when the advertising was placed.

These rulings highlight the need for companies to act carefully and with foresight when planning and implementing discount campaigns. An ill-considered extension can quickly lead to legal problems and should therefore be avoided.


The extension of time-limited discount campaigns is a complex legal issue that companies should not take lightly. When planning such campaigns, it is crucial to proceed carefully and keep a close eye on the legal framework. An ill-considered extension can quickly lead to problems under competition law, which can not only be costly but also damage your reputation. In such cases, it is advisable to seek expert advice if in doubt to ensure that marketing strategies comply with legal requirements.

This personal experience with the email from my former gym shows impressively how legal problems can lurk around every corner and in many unexpected situations for entrepreneurs. It illustrates that legal considerations play a role in almost all aspects of business life and must always be taken into account. This situation underlines the need for companies to stay up to date and not underestimate the legal aspects in their decisions. In a world where business practices are under increasing scrutiny, it is essential to be aware of the legal consequences and act proactively to avoid potential pitfalls.

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Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel is a lawyer and entrepreneur specializing in copyright law, competition law and IT/IP law, with a focus on games, esports, media and blockchain.


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