In our client alert of October 2015, we announced upcoming reforms that would have, for the first time in Turkey, allowed advertisers to suggest the superiority of their products and services using direct references to a competitor's trademark or name beginning from January 10, 2016. However, in theRegulation on the Amendment of the Regulation on Commercial Advertisements and Unfair Commercial Practices published on December 25, 2015, the government announced that it has postponed the effective date until December 31, 2016. This postponement is in response to concerns that more detailed guidelines are needed for comparative advertising.
Comparative advertising is already permitted in Turkey under the Consumer Protection Law and Regulation on Commercial Advertisements and Unfair Commercial Practices, but direct references to competitors in comparative advertising has been prohibited. On December 31, 2016, however, Article 8/2 of the regulation will enter into effect, eliminating the prohibition and permitting the use of competitors' names and trademarks.
Comparative advertising is a new concept in Turkey; its use will increase after December 31, 2016, when the use of competitor names and trademarks is finally permitted. Unfortunately, advertisers expecting to use their competitor's name or trademark in advertisements after January 2016 will have to wait until the end of the year.