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  •  
    24/01/2024
    United Kingdom

    Upheld – ASA Ruling on Buzz Group LTD

    In the latest example of the new strong appeal rules in action, on 3 January 2024 the ASA issued a ruling which was upheld concerning a post on Buzz Group Ltd’s (“Buzz Group”) Facebook page (the “ad”).On 1 October 2022, a new gambling advertising rule was introduced (a summary of which can be read here) which strengthened the obligations on gambling operators to ensure the content of their ads is not appealing to under 18s, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture. At the time, questions were raised as to what a “strong appeal” really...
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  •  
    19/01/2024
    Europe

    Greenwashing: Stricter EU rules on environmental marketing ban misleading and offsetting claims and introduce new information requirements for products, to protect consumers

    On 17 January 2024, the European Parliament voted to adopt the Directive on Empowering Consumers for the Green Transition (the ECGT Directive), which seeks to protect consumers from various misleading marketing practices relating to the environment or sustainability. In particular it bans the use of generic environmental advertising claims like ‘natural’, ‘environmentally friendly’ or ‘biodegradable’ without adequate substantiation, it restricts the use of sustainability labels to those based on official certification schemes or established by public authorities,...
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  •  
    18/01/2024
    United Kingdom

    Mecca Bingo faces criticism over Instagram ad implying gambling boosts self-esteem

    Mecca Bingo has recently found itself in hot water following a complaint about one of its Instagram ads (“the ad”). The Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”) upheld the complaint, asserting that the ad, featuring celebrity drag queen Baga Chipz, implied that gambling could enhance an individual's self-image or self-esteem.The ad and the issueThe ad in question, seen on 16 August 2023, showcased two images of Baga Chipz side by side, with a clear contrast between the two. The left image depicted a subdued Baga, dressed in plain, dark clothes with no makeup, while the right...
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  •  
    12/01/2024
    Europe

    A new tool in the fight against online infringement

    Online infringements and domain squatting are challenges often faced by businesses and tackling such issues has been made all the more difficult in a post-GDPR world where most publicly available domain name registration information, which was previously available in WHOIS databases, has been redacted for data privacy.Identifying the domain name registrant (i.e. the likely infringer) is an important element of any enforcement strategy, expanding the list of options available to rightsholders and also depriving infringers of the anonymity which might otherwise encourage their activities.ICANN has...
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  •  
    12/12/2023
    United Kingdom

    Environmental claims continue to be a key focus area for the ASA after three complaints about misleading advertisements by airlines upheld in one week

    Last week, the Advertising Standards Authority upheld three complaints about environmental claims in advertisements published by three different airlines, finding all three misleading. The ASA identified the ads as part of its ongoing enforcement work on climate change and the environment – a key focus area for the ASA at present.As part of this wider enforcement work, the ASA has recently upheld a number of complaints in relation to green claims across different industries, not because the claims were untrue, but because they gave a misleading impression of polluting businesses’ overall...
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  •  
    06/12/2023
    United Kingdom

    Environmental whistleblowing

    Introduction Climate change poses risks to businesses, stakeholders and individuals alike. Many individuals are becoming increasingly concerned with the climate crisis and want to work, and do business with, organisations which care about their impact on the environment. In turn, businesses are increasingly promoting their sustainable and green credentials in a move towards reducing their impact on the environment and attracting staff and stakeholders. Yet overstating their position is also problematic and may result in allegations of greenwashing.In this Law-Now we discuss how this combination...
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