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Advertising and marketing


What rules govern digital advertising and marketing in your jurisdiction?

The Federal Law against Unfair Competition bans unfair advertising and sales practices and other wrongful conduct, including spam messages. Companies which use direct marketing must also exercise particular discretion when handling personal data. The Federal Data Protection Act regulates the lawfulness of processing personal data; this includes that the processing must be carried out in good faith and must be proportionate, appropriate and transparent. Further, the use of pictures or graphic works must comply with the Copyright Act. 

Are there any specific regulations governing the use of targeted advertising?

When using personal data for targeted advertising, the Federal Data Protection Act must be complied with. With regard to mass emails, the regulations of the Federal Law against Unfair Competition, which requires consent from the recipient, identification of the sender and a convenient opt-out option for the recipient, apply.

Further, for businesses offering services and goods to data subject in the European Union or the European Economic Area, as well as for tracking cookies or similar methods of tracking, the respective EU regulation such as the GDPR and the EU E-Privacy Regulation, once in force, should be considered.


Are there any restrictions or limitations on goods and services that can be advertised, marketed and sold online?

Various regulations limit the sale of goods and services online. In particular, when offering financial services, specific regulations such as the banking law, regulations regarding stock exchanges or money laundering must be respected. When offering medical drugs or therapeutic products there are strict regulations with regard to the advertising and sale of such products. Other regulations concern the declaration of foodstuffs, safety of food products or the sale of alcohol or tobacco products. Further, there are regulations on product liability which include mandatory liability for product defects.

Spam messages

What rules and restrictions govern the sending of spam messages?

The sending of unsolicited electronic communications (spam) is regulated by the Federal Law against Unfair Competition and the Telecommunications Act. Providers of telecommunication services are mandated to combat unfair mass advertising. The mass sending of spam emails is considered an act of unfair competition unless the following conditions are met:

  • The recipient has given consent.
  • The sender is disclosed and identifiable.
  • The recipient is given a convenient and free of charge opportunity to unsubscribe from communications.

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