Intellectual Property Singapore Client Alert March 2016 For further information please contact Andy Leck +65 6434 2525 firstname.lastname@example.org Lim Ren Jun +65 6434 2721 email@example.com Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow 8 Marina Boulevard #05-01 Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1 Singapore 018981 www.bakermckenzie.com Spike in Complaints on Online & Derogatory Advertisements The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (“ASAS”) has reported that the number of complaints about online advertisements and derogatory advertisements increased sharply last year. 272 pieces of feedback were received in 2015, compared to 273 in 2014 and 307 in 2013. This included queries, requests for advertising advice, and complaints that are either consumer-to-business or business-to-business in nature. 91 pieces of feedback were related to online advertisements, more than double the 45 received in 2014. There were 13 pieces of feedback in relation to derogatory advertisements, compared to 6 in 2014. The beauty, hair and slimming industries received the most feedback last year, similar to 2013 and 2014. This was followed by the food and beverage, travel, telecommunications, and electrical and electronics industries. ASAS said that most of the feedback was provided by members of the public in relation to dubious claims about the effectiveness of advertised products and services. Many of these claims were not supported by appropriate studies and data. ASAS has informed some of these businesses to revise or cease the advertisements. ASAS administers the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice (the “SCAP”), and reiterated that the SCAP applies to online advertisements. In this regard, in November 2015, ASAS issued its draft Digital and Social Media Advertising Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) for public consultation.* The Guidelines will eventually be incorporated into the SCAP. *Please refer to our previous alert in November 2015 on the Guidelines. ©2016. All rights reserved. Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow is a member of Baker & McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein with member law firms around the world. In accordance with the common terminology used in professional service organizations, reference to a “partner” means a person who is a partner, or equivalent, in such a law firm. Similarly, reference to an “office” means an office of any such law firm. This may qualify as “Attorney Advertising” requiring notice in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.