With decision n. 7/2013 issued on February 8, 2013, in the case Boheringer Ingeheim Italia S.p.A. vs. Verelibron S.r.l./Chefaro Pharma Italia S.r.l., the Advertising and Marketing Communication Self-Regulation Authority (the “Jury”) took position on the interpretation of section 25 of the Self Regulation Code of Marketing Communication (“the Code”) relating to advertisement of medical products and curative treatments. Said provision “requires to deliver an express invitation to read the package warnings in advertisements”.

Boheringer claimed that the respondent’s TV commercial for a cough syrup was misleading and not compliant with section 25 of the Code. Boheringer argued that the invitation to read the package warnings was not given orally but with a dateline that was unable to draw consumer’s attention.

The Jury stated that, under section 25 of the Code, it is not mandatory to place in the ad a voice message inviting consumers to read the package warnings and that also “a written message, in a television spot, may be perceived as effective as a voice mail only where this is displayed in such a way (font seize, other means to draw the consumer’s attention such as the colour or flashing fonts) able to balance its reduced informative capability.”

In light of the criteria laid down above, the Jury found that the 5 seconds long dateline placed in the advertisement under scrutiny was not compliant with section 25 of the Code.