• It is the spirit and not the form of law that keeps justice alive.
    Earl Warren

RECENT UPDATES ON ADVERTISEMENT LEGISLATION

The new Regulation on Commercial Advertising and Unfair Commercial Practices has recently been published in the Official Gazette dated 10.01.2015 and numbered 29232 (“New Regulation”) and repeals the old Regulation on the Principles and Implementation Guidelines for Commercial Advertisements and Announcements published in the Official Gazette dated 14.06.2003, numbered 25138 (“Old Regulation”). 

On the same day, the Communiqué on Procedures and Principles on Usage of Fine Print and Footnotes in Commercial Advertisements and Announcements published in the Official Gazette dated 13.03.2011 and numbered 27873 was also repealed by another communiqué, since the issues covered therein will now be regulated under the New Regulation.

The New Regulation has introduced remarkable changes to the Turkish advertisement sector in, without limitation, the areas of comparative advertisements, burden of proof, testimonial advertisements, implicit advertisements and unfair commercial practices.  

Comparative Advertisements

Provided that they meet certain conditions, advertisers will be allowed to make comparative advertisements make as of 10.01.2016. By allowing comparative advertisements, the New Regulation has now made it possible to include the titles, trade names, logos or distinguishing shapes and expressions of a competitor in advertisements, provided that such advertisements are not deceptive and fallacious, and do not lead to unfair competition. Another condition for comparative advertisements is that the product or services being compared must bear the same features and fulfil the same needs or requests. It should nevertheless be noted that comparative advertisements are prohibited for food supplements. 

Burden of Proof
 
Another significant change is that it is now obligatory for the advertiser to prove the facts/claims included in advertisements with reports obtained from universities or accredited testing and evaluation firms or independent research firms.
 
Testimonial Advertisements

Doctors, dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists, health institutions are now prohibited from including any statements of health for a specific product or service or any image, statement or expression that would create such impression. 

Fonts and Fine Print

The New Regulation includes provisions in relation to the fonts to be used in fine print, footnotes and stabile writings. Although the old practice has been preserved, henceforth, 4K-resolution television formats will bear 60-line-height. On the other hand, the duration that fine print will remain on screen has been increased.

Unfair Trade Practices 

Although unfair trade practices were not regulated under the Old Regulation, the New Regulation introduces various provisions in this respect. Accordingly, unfair trade practices are defined as all sort of commercial practices that would or may disrupt the economic behavior of an average consumer against a product or service and are against the standards of professional care. 

Administrative Penalties

In contrast with the Old Regulation, higher administrative penalties will be applied to those acting contrary to advertisement legislation. 
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