(By authority conferred on the attorney general by section 9(6) of Act No. 449 of  
the Public Acts of 1976, being S445.359(6) of the Michigan Compiled Laws)  
R 14.201 Definitions.  
Rule 1. As used in these rules:  
(a) "Act" means Act No. 449 of the Public Acts of 1976, being S445.351 et seq. of  
the Michigan Compiled Laws.  
(b) "Clearance sale" means an offer by a person to sell all offered in-stock  
consumer items at a price reduced from that person's regular price if the person  
intends to sell out all such items during the advertised period of sale, but will  
nevertheless reorder the same or substantially similar items to be again sold by that  
person not less than 90 days after the reorder.  
(c) "Close out sale" means an offer by a person to sell offered in-stock consumer  
items at a price reduced from the person's regular price if consumer items will not  
be offered by that person again due to various factors, such as:  
(i) The item is no longer manufactured.  
(ii) The source of supply is out of business.  
(iii) The person unilaterally refuses to carry the item.  
(d) "Raincheck" means a written guarantee to deliver a specific consumer item.  
(e) "Sale price" means a price offer for a consumer item appearing in advertising  
by use of the word "sale" or words of similar meaning, which suggest to a reader,  
listener, or viewer that the consumer item is being offered for purchase at a reduction  
in price, at a bargain price, or at a savings compared with some other person's or the  
advertiser's regular or customary higher price.  
History: 1979 AC.  
R 14.202 Sale or reduced price advertisements; disclosures.  
Rule 2. An offer of a consumer item, except baked goods, fresh fruit, and fresh  
vegetables as provided in section 5(4) of the act, for retail sale at a sale price, special  
price, or at a price reduced by an amount or proportion, by means of an advertisement  
disseminated in the trade area served by any of the advertisers' retail outlets  
covered by  
the advertisement, shall disclose clearly and conspicuously, in  
conjunction therewith, either of the following:  
(a) The dates the consumer item is available for purchase.  
(b) The numerical quantity available for each consumer item, and where there is  
a limitation on how many of the advertised consumer items may be purchased by any 1  
person, a statement in numerical amount of how many a consumer may buy of each  
advertised consumer item.  
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History: 1979 AC.  
R 14.203 Disclosing exceptions, limitations, or restrictions rainchecks  
and substitutions.  
Rule 3. (1) If an advertisement does not state the quantity of a consumer item  
available, and the consumer item cannot be sold throughout the advertised period of  
sale, the advertisement shall disclose all the seller's exceptions, limitations, or  
restrictions with respect to stores, consumer items, or prices otherwise included in the  
advertisement, and the advertiser shall make available a raincheck which obligates the  
advertiser to deliver and sell to the consumer in possession of the raincheck the  
consumer item specified in the raincheck, at the advertised price stated in the  
raincheck, and at the future date stated in the raincheck, not in excess of 90 days, or  
at an earlier time upon notification to the consumer by the advertiser. After notification  
to the consumer is given, the advertiser may dispose of the item upon failure of the  
consumer to pick up the item in the time specified in section 5(2) of the act.  
(2) An advertiser, instead of providing the consumer with  
raincheck, may  
substitute for the unavailable advertised consumer item a similar consumer item of  
equal or greater monetary value. This rule does not modify a person's obligations  
under section 5(3) of the act.  
(3) If an advertiser elects to substitute a consumer item of equal or greater  
monetary value because the advertiser is unable to redeem a raincheck due to the  
unavailability of the advertised consumer item, the advertiser may substitute either a  
similar item bearing a substantially equivalent regular price at the advertised lower  
price, or a similar item bearing a higher regular price at a price equal to the regular  
price of the higher-priced item, less the percentage reduction offered for the  
unavailable consumer item.  
Example: An advertisement indicates a consumer item regularly sells for $50.00, but  
is on this week for does not disclose the quantity available. The advertiser runs out of  
the advertised item during the period of sale and knows that the item cannot be  
obtained again to redeem a raincheck. The advertiser may then offer to a consumer  
either of the following substitutesimilar items:  
(a) Another similar $50.00 item at $30.00.  
(b) Another similar item regularly selling for  
$75.00 at a comparable savings or reduction in price; that is, 40% off or $45.00.  
(4) An advertiser shall not limit the obligation to redeem a raincheck by including a  
date in a raincheck less than 90 days from the date of the raincheck. For example, a  
raincheck which provides for its redemption on or before a date less than 90 days  
thereafter is insufficient compliance with the act if the purpose of the earlier date is to  
evade compliance in the event the guarantee cannot be honored in the shorter  
time. An advertiser may, however, redeem the raincheck earlier than 90 days upon  
notification to the consumer.  
(5) A raincheck shall contain, but not be limited to, the following:  
(a) Space for a description of the unavailable item.  
(b) Space for the price to be paid for the unavailable item of the consumer.  
(c) Space for the signature or initials of a person authorizing the raincheck.  
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(6) The raincheck shall be executed in duplicate, 1 copy to be given to the  
consumer, the other to be retained by the merchant.  
History: 1979 AC.  
R 14.204 Successive advertisements.  
Rule 4. Where an advertiser disseminates successive advertisements, either to  
the same or different consumer groups,  
advertisement contains the  
disclosures required by section 5 of the act and these rules, the advertiser is not  
obligated to recount or redetermine the quantity of consumer items then remaining  
available for each successive advertisement if the advertiser clearly and conspicuously  
discloses that the consumer items advertised and available in the quantities stated are  
subject to prior sale dueto previous advertising during prior periods of time, and  
states the date the advertising first appeared.  
History: 1979 AC.  
R 14.205 Determination of violation.  
Rule 5. In determining whether a violation of the act has occurred, the following  
shall be considered:  
(a) All circumstances surrounding nondelivery of advertised consumer items  
which were actually ordered in quantities sufficient to meet, or are reasonably related to  
the intended response to,  
the advertisement,  
but were not delivered due to  
circumstances beyond the advertiser's control.  
(b) All circumstances surrounding failure to make advertised consumer items  
conspicuously and readily available for sale at or below the advertised prices if the  
consumer items were not made available at those prices due to circumstances beyond  
the control of the advertiser. In such cases, the making available of a raincheck shall  
be considered; however, the mere existence of a "policy" to provide a raincheck, in  
and of itself, does not constitute compliance.  
(c) Whether the advertiser instructed each of the advertiser's employees,  
agents, or servants of theexistence of a raincheck; whether the advertiser required  
those persons to inform consumers of its availability; whether, upon learning of the  
unavailability of a particular consumer item, the advertiser posted a notice, proximate  
to the location of the unavailable item, stating the procedure for obtaining a raincheck;  
and whether the advertiser posted, in a clear and conspicuous central location in  
the advertiser's store, a notice respecting the store's obligations to deliver a  
raincheck or substitute.  
History: 1979 AC.  
R 14.206 Catalogs, media commercials, circulars, or newspaper inserts  
prepared prior to dissemination.  
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Rule 6. (1) When an advertiser prepares, or causes to  
advertisement in the form of a catalog, television or radio commercial, circular, or an  
insert to a newspaper, which advertisement must be printed or submitted not less than 10  
days prior to its dissemination to the public, and the advertisement offers to sell  
consumer items at a sale price, a special price, or at a price reduced by an amount or  
proportion, and the consumer items are readily and conspicuously made available for  
sale at a price other than the advertised sale price, special price, or reduced price  
during the interim period between the time of printing and the dissemination of the  
advertisement to the public, the advertiser is not required to disclose in the  
advertisement the numeric quantity available if the advertiser:  
(a) Clearly and conspicuously discloses the period of time the consumer items are  
available for sale.  
(b) Makes available a raincheck to any person who seeks to purchase the  
consumer item during the advertised period of sale, or substitutes an equal or greater  
monetary value for the advertised item, if the consumer items are not intended to be  
liquidated as part of a clearance or close out sale, or a sale of similar import or  
(2) Where the consumer items are not made readily and conspicuously  
available for sale during the interim period, the advertiser may, instead of subrule(1)(a)  
and (b) above, disclose the numeric quantity available at time of sale.  
History: 1979 AC.  
R 14.207 Clearance and close out sales.  
Rule 7. (1) In connection with advertising offering consumer items pursuant to  
either a clearance or close out sale, where the advertiser is, or will be, unable to either  
give a raincheck or substitute an item of equal or greater monetary value, the  
advertiser shall disclose the quantity on hand and available during a disclosed period of  
sale. However, where the sale is announced in an advertisement required to be  
produced not less than 10 days prior to publication, the numeric quantity to be  
disclosed is that amount on hand at the time of preparation  
advertisement if the sale items are in fact made readily and conspicuously available for  
sale during the interim period between preparation and  
publication and the advertisement discloses as of what date that numeric quantity  
was determined; but if the sale items are not made readily and conspicuously  
available during the interim period, then the numeric quantity stated in the  
advertisement shall be equal to the greater of  
those actually on hand at time of preparation of the advertisement or actually on  
hand at time ofpublication.  
(2) In connection with a "clearance" or "close out" sale, an advertiser with more  
than 1 store, branch, or outlet participating in the sale  
shall make readily and  
conspicuously available in each store, branch, or outlet a reasonable number of each  
consumer item subject to the sale, unless a disclaimer, as provided in R 14.208(2)(a)  
or (b), is set forth.  
History: 1979 AC.  
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R 14.208 General and specific disclaimers; evasions of act or rules.  
Rule 8. (1) General disclaimers in advertising relating to product availability  
shall not constitute compliance with the disclosure provisions of the act or these  
rules where the disclaimers, when used, are relied upon by a participating dealer or  
store to evade the obligations imposed by the act or these rules. Examples of such  
"general disclaimers" include the following:  
(a) "Not all items available at all stores."  
(b) "Available at most stores."  
(c) "Available at participating stores."  
(2) Specific disclaimers in advertising relating to consumer item availability  
only in certain stores are in compliance with the disclosure requirements of the act and  
these rules. Examples of a specific disclaimer include the following:  
(a) "Available only at stores featuring delicatessen departments."  
(b) "Available at the following participating stores: (name and address of each)."  
(3) In determining whether a clearance or close out sale is used as a device to  
evade the act or these rules, the following criteria shall be considered:  
(a) Whether the advertiser regularly or repeatedly uses the terms "clearance  
sale" or "close out sale" in connection with advertising of consumer items.  
(b) Whether the advertiser has in fact made readily and conspicuously available  
for sale all of the consumer items offered as part of the clearance or close out sale.  
(c) Whether the clearance or close out sale is merely a temporary reduction in  
prices, and there is an increase in prices on the same consumer items after the sale.  
(d) Whether the advertiser has, prior to or during the sale, ordered or acquired all  
or part of the advertised consumer items, other than from existing inventory, for the  
purposes of the sale.  
(e) Whether the advertiser has reordered the consumer items which are the  
subject of the sale for the purposes of replacing the inventory of sold items so as to  
make them available for sale within 90 days of the advertised clearance or close out  
(4) In order to avoid leading a consumer to believe, in connection with an  
advertisement disclosing numerical quantities where more than 1 store, outlet, or  
dealership is participating, that each store, outlet or dealership has in fact the  
numerical quantity listed for the consumer item, and in fact there is a variance in  
quantity among such store, outlets, or dealerships, the advertiser may do either of the  
(a) Have readily and conspicuously available in each store, outlet, or dealership a  
reasonable number of each consumer item subject to the sale advertising.  
(b) Provide to each store, outlet, or dealership a quantity of consumer items equal  
to the quantity disclosed for each item.  
History: 1979 AC.  
R 14.209 Enforcement and administration of act and rules.  
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Rule 9. (1) The act and rules shall be enforced and administered by the department  
of attorney general, consumer protection division, or such other division of the  
department as from time to time is designated by the attorney general.  
(2) The consumer protection division is located at the Law Building, Lansing,  
Michigan 48913.  
History: 1979 AC.  
R 14.210 Assurance of discontinuance.  
Rule 10. (1) When the attorney general or prosecuting attorney has information  
indicating that a person may have engaged, is engaging, or is about to engage in a  
method, act, or practice which may involve violation of the act, and if he deems the  
public interest shall be fully safeguarded thereby, the attorney general or prosecuting  
attorney may afford the person the opportunity to negotiate informally  
assurance of discontinuance.  
(2) In determining whether the public interest is safeguarded by an assurance of  
discontinuance, the attorney general shall consider:  
(a) The nature and gravity of the alleged violation.  
(b) The prior record and good faith of the parties involved.  
(c) Other factors, including, where appropriate, adequate assurance of voluntary  
(3) An assurance of discontinuance is accepted and final upon signing by the  
attorney general or prosecuting attorney.  
(4) An assurance of discontinuance shall include:  
(a) A description of the methods, acts, and practices which a person agrees to  
permanently discontinue.  
(b) A reference to applicable provisions of the act or these rules.  
(c) A statement that the person does not admit an issue of law or fact.  
(5) An assurance of discontinuance may include:  
(a) An agreement to pay the costs of investigation.  
(b) An agreement to hold in escrow an amount pending the outcome of  
(c) An agreement for an amount of restitution to an aggrieved person.  
(6) An assurance of discontinuance shall not be introduced in a proceeding  
by a person other than a party to the assurance, who may introduce it in the  
proceeding to modify its terms or to enforce its terms in whole or in part.  
History: 1979 AC.  
R 14.211 Declaratory ruling.  
Rule 11. (1) A person may request a declaratory ruling from the attorney general as  
specified in section 63 of Act No. 306 of the Public Acts of 1969, being S24.263 of  
the Michigan Compiled Laws, with respect to determining whether a course of  
action is in compliance with the act or these rules. The attorney general shall consider  
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the requests  
where practical, make a declaratory ruling. A request for a  
declaratory ruling is inappropriate where:  
(a) The same, or substantially the same, course of action is under investigation,  
or is, or has been, the subject of a current action, order, judgment, or decree initiated or  
obtained by the attorney general.  
(b) The course of action, or its effects, may be such that an informed decision  
thereon cannot be made, or can be made only after extensive investigation, clinical  
study, testing, or collateral inquiry.  
(2) A request for declaratory ruling shall be submitted in writing to the attorney  
general, and shall include full and complete information regarding the course of  
action. Citations of legal authority supporting the theory or position of the requester  
may accompany the request.  
(3) A declaratory ruling given by the attorney general is without prejudice to  
the right of the attorney general to reconsider the questions involved, and, where the  
public interest requires, to prospectively change the ruling. Sixty days' notice of a  
prospective change in a declaratory ruling shall be given to the requester so that a  
person may discontinue a course of action taken in reliance upon the ruling.  
History: 1979 AC.  
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