Advertising and the law: The regulation of deceptive ads

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The Advertising of Products and Services is a very important part of the Economy. It is also an important source of income for the companies that produce them. Advertising is a form of communication, which allows to transmit information to the public. The advertising can be in different ways: through newspapers, magazines, television, radio, internet or even on the street. It is a tool that allows to attract attention and to sell product and services. The advertising is regulated by the law. We will see more about it in this article.

What are the main regulations concerning deceptive advertising?

The deceptive advertising is an offense regulated by the law of March 21, 1836 and the decree of July 27, 1915. It consists in making believe in the existence of a particular advantage, when there is no existence. It can be applied to two types of products: – goods and services (example: a product that claims to cure diseases) – financial services (example: a financial investment that promises significant profitability).

Article 16 of the deceptive advertising law provides that “anyone who has used the procedures defined in article 13 or will have facilitated their use commits an offense and faces, on complaints from any interested person, a fine between € 1,500 and € 30,000 ”.

Landy advertising is therefore prohibited in France. If you want to be in accordance with this law, you can consult our article: how to avoid scams so as not to fall into the trap?


What are the trivial types of advertising that are regulated?

There are different types of misleading advertising.

It is therefore important that you know the different categories, in order to know if your ad is legal or not.

Ads that can be illegal are considered to be misleading and are considered to be unfair commercial practices. This includes in particular: the announcement which does not contain the name of the product or service offered, the announcement which does not contain the actual price of the product or service offered and the announcement which includes a false statement on what the product Go for you.

Comparative advertising is also a way of promoting a certain type of business and allows potential customers to have an idea of ​​the advantages that this company offers in relation to its competitors. However, comparative advertising must comply with certain conditions to be valid: it must be based on the essential characteristics of compared goods / services; It must be objective (you cannot compare two companies whose size, turnover, etc., are very different); It must be reasonable (it must not exceed the limits allowed).

You can use comparative advertising only to provide the potential customer with objective information on your products and services compared to that of your direct competitors.




What are the main criteria used to determine if an advertisement is misleading?

The main criteria used to determine whether advertising is misleading are as follows: the fact that advertising is misleading or not, must be clearly indicated in the advertising message. If we refer to the law on financial products and services, we can read: this law aims to protect consumers.

Information must also be correct and understandable.

The message is not clear or it contains incorrect information.

The advertiser does not take into account all the relevant facts before promoting him.

The promise made by the salesperson is false or too beautiful to be true.

There is a lack of guarantees regarding the result.


What are the legal consequences for companies that lack regulations on misleading advertising?

The deceptive advertising is a criminal offense repressed by articles L.121-1 and s. Consumer code, which is punished with a fine of up to € 15,000 for a natural person and € 75,000 for a legal person. What are the constituent elements of the offense? In order to be formed, several criteria must be met: 1.

The message must be ambiguous or deceptive; 2.

The target must be identified; 3.

The message must use particularly aggressive or insistent terms to capture its attention; 4.

The content of the message must be able to mislead on the merits or the quality of the product, service or promised service (example: sale of a “real” ham of Bayonne). If these conditions are met, the seller can therefore see his responsibility engaged before the French and European courts, without even having to seek proof of a voluntary fault … A communication campaign can fortunately help the company comply with the regulations on the misleading advertising. This makes it possible in particular to limit certain commercial excesses such as those linked to messages whose impact would be too important not to have been carefully reread by a competent authority (for example on the Internet). Thus, the company can be assisted by a professional specializing in this legal field in order to provide advice advice and implement a strategy adapted to the sector of activity concerned (agrifood etc.).


What measures can be put in place to prevent the spread of misleading advertising?

Drumous advertising is a type of advertising that is based on false or misleading characteristics. It differs from the legitimate commercial message by the fact that it has not been approved by a competent authority. As a consumer, you cannot trust the deceptive advertising and you are free to overlook this information with full knowledge of the facts.

European directive 2009/22/EC aims to harmonize national measures aimed at unfair commercial practices and to protect the interests of consumers. This directive is based on three principles: clarity, accessibility and objective presentation of the product or service offered.


What are the main means by which consumers can contest mislead advertising?

Misleading advertising is fraud that aims to mislead the consumer in the characteristics of the product or service. Its purpose may be to encourage him to buy a product that he is unable to use correctly, or even make her believe that her expenses will be reimbursed afterwards.

When the misleading advertising relates to a property or a service, the product has not always been designed in compliance with the technical and security standards applicable at the time of its marketing. On the other hand, if the misleading advertising concerns a food product, it must comply with the requirements in terms of hygiene and health.

Advertising is a form of advertising that involves the use of mass media to promote or sell goods and services. Advertising has been used since antiquity, but it was not unit the twentieth century that advertising became an industry in its own right.


If you are interested in advertising, you may like this article about augmented reality in advertising !


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