Misleading advertising

Editorial and advertising

How is editorial content differentiated from advertising?

No specific principles on differentiation between editorial content and advertising are given in law. However, there is an obligation for publishers of non-advertising publications (eg, magazines or newspapers not termed as ‘advertising media’) to include the term ‘advertising’ in all advertising material. In this regard, in the case of an investigation, if the editorial content was drafted under a contract with the advertiser, it may be treated as advertising with related consequences.

Advertising that requires substantiation

How does your law distinguish between ‘puffery’ and advertising claims that require support?

The law does not distinguish between puffery and advertising claims that require support. Therefore, if puffery was exercised under contract with an advertiser, it may be treated as advertising with applicable consequences.

Rules on misleading advertising

What are the general rules regarding misleading advertising? Must all material information be disclosed? Are disclaimers and footnotes permissible?

Misleading advertising is not allowed. The principle under the Advertising Law is that it is not permissible to use statements that are untrue with regard to various facts, as defined in article 5 of the Advertising Law (eg, false statements on a product’s origin, quality and consumer features). The degree of disclosure of material information may vary depending on the product or service at issue (eg, pharmaceutical or financial services advertising require a higher level of disclosure). Disclaimers and footnotes are permissible, but if they are presented as fine print that complicates their legibility, that may give rise to a breach, depending on the specific case facts.

Substantiating advertising claims

Must an advertiser have proof of the claims it makes in advertising before publishing? Are there recognised standards for the type of proof necessary to substantiate claims?

Use of the expressions ‘best’, ‘first’, ‘number 1’, etc requires proof in advertising, as well as an indication of the criteria used for comparison. Such proof may be specialists’ opinions, market research studies, etc.

Survey results

Are there specific requirements for advertising claims based on the results of surveys?

The law does not provide such requirements, operating with the principle that advertising must be true and fair. In terms of practice, surveys must be full (ie, they need to be made with regard to each competing product available on the market), and conclusions of surveys must be objective; otherwise, risks of claims are possible.

Comparisons with competitors

What are the rules for comparisons with competitors? Is it permissible to identify a competitor by name?

The main rule is that only incorrect comparison is banned. Comparison requires indication of the criteria used for comparison and the advertiser is liable, not only for the accuracy of information of its product, but also for the accuracy of information on compared competing products. It is not permissible to use a comparison based on disparate criteria or to use partial comparison, because this would distort the impression given.

Therefore, comparison with competitors, to the extent that such comparison is not unfair or misleading, is allowed, including by identifying a competitor by name, to the extent that identification does not amount to trademark infringement or business reputation damage.

Test and study results

Do claims suggesting tests and studies prove a product’s superiority require higher or special degrees or types of proof?

Yes, and such claims require an indication of the sources of such tests and studies in the advertisement.

Demonstrating performance

Are there special rules for advertising depicting or demonstrating product performance?

Depicting and demonstrating product performance needs to be compatible with the obligation of true advertising.

Third-party endorsements

Are there special rules for endorsements or testimonials by third parties, including statements of opinions, belief or experience?

Advertising that contains untrue information on recommendations or approval of individuals and legal entities is not allowed. Permission to use such recommendations from their sources is required. Evidence of such endorsement or testimonial is required, both in terms of agreeing the information with publishers and also in the case of investigation from FAS. Use of adherence to a code of practice or attainment of quality mark is subject to the general obligation of true and good-faith advertising.


Are there special rules for advertising guarantees?

Untrue information in advertising guarantees is not allowed.

Environmental impact

Are there special rules for claims about a product’s impact on the environment?

Untrue information for claims regarding a product’s impact on the environment is not allowed.

Free and special price claims

Are there special rules for describing something as free or a free trial or for special price or savings claims?

Such description needs to be true and not misleading. The incorrect information misleading a consumer with regard to something being free, being part of a free trial or being available at a special price may bring about liability.

New and improved

Are there special rules for claiming a product is new or improved?

Claiming a product is new or improved requires proof; otherwise, risks of holding advertising as misleading arise.

Claims of origin

Are there special rules for claiming where a product is made (such as country of origin)?

Claiming origin of a product from a specific country needs to be true and not misleading.