Tentative Agenda Decision and comment letters—IAS 38 Goods acquired for promotional activities

 

The IFRS Interpretations Committee tentatively decided not to add this matter to its standard-setting agenda at its meeting in June 2017. The Committee will reconsider the following tentative agenda decision, including the reasons for not adding the matter to the standard-setting agenda, at a future meeting. The Committee encourages interested parties to submit their responses using the link below.

Tentative agenda decision

The Committee received a request to clarify how an entity accounts for goods that it distributes as part of its promotional activities. The submitter described a situation in which a pharmaceutical entity acquires goods (such as refrigerators, air conditioners and watches) to distribute to doctors as part of its promotional activities. The submitter asked how the entity accounts for any such goods that remain undistributed at its reporting date.

If an entity acquires goods to be used to undertake advertising or promotional activities, paragraph BC46B of IAS 38 explains that such goods have no other purpose than to undertake those activities. In other words, the only benefit of those goods for the entity is to develop or create brands or customer relationships, which in turn generate revenues. However, applying IAS 38, the entity does not recognise internally generated brands or customer relationships as assets.

Accordingly, paragraph 69 of IAS 38 requires an entity to recognise any expenditure on such goods acquired solely for promotional activities as an expense when the entity has a right to access the goods. Paragraph 69A of IAS 38 states that an entity has a right to access goods when it owns them. The entity, therefore, recognises any expenditure on these goods as an expense when it owns the goods, or otherwise has a right to access them regardless of when it distributes the goods.

The Committee concluded that the requirements in IFRS Standards provide an adequate basis for an entity to account for the goods described in the submission. Consequently, the Committee [decided] not to add this matter to its standard-setting agenda.

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