Advertisements play a central role in today’s commercial world, both for the companies engaged with the advertising sector and their effects and impact on consumers. For businesses, it is an essential and instrumental tool for introducing their products/services to potential and existing customers, as well as for sustaining their financial resources; whereas for consumers, advertising serves as a driving force in guiding them toward products/ services, while also giving rise (at times) to a variety of controversial topics. For these reasons, the advertising sector is often scrutinized by regulatory authorities and is subjected to a variety of limitations and restrictions for the purpose of protecting consumers who have no discernible control over the marketing activities they become subjected to. Along with the current developments in the modern global economy and the fierce competition engendered by them, technological advances and growing internet use are also in a continuous progress, creating new platforms and mediums advertising activities can filter into and gradually permeate. These changes and advancements also bring the challenge of amending the current legislation in Turkey, especially for surreptitious advertising, having certain harmful effects on consumers. To that end, it can be argued that the existing legislation is deficient in terms of monitoring and detecting violations of advertising regulations that occur on these emerging platforms. This article aims to provide general background information and analysis on surreptitious advertising and its implementations in daily life in a legal context. Furthermore, the basic components and key characteristics of surreptitious advertising, the incentives underlying this activity, and its implementation in a variety of platforms will be illustrated. On that note, the definitions of advertising and surreptitious advertising will be provided, and then what surreptitious advertising really is will be discussed.
Finally, the ways in which surreptitious advertisements influence consumers in practice will be examined by focusing on examples.