Advertising law & Unfair competition

Advertising law is about what is and what is not allowed in advertising. It covers both the relationship between advertiser and consumer and between advertiser and competitor. With respect to both, the advertiser has to observe certain rules.

Dutch advertising law is laid down in both general and specific advertising rules. The general rules derive from European directives on misleading and comparative advertising and unfair commercial practices. They are laid down in the Civil Code and in the Dutch Advertising Code, which concerns self-regulation.

In addition, certain laws contain specific rules for advertising. For example, specific advertising rules for financial products and services can be found in the Financial Supervision Act. The Betting and Gaming Act contains specific rules for advertising for games of chance.

Comparative advertising in which the name or trademark of a competitor is mentioned is in principle allowed, provided certain conditions are met. If the advertisement does not meet these conditions and the trademark of another party is mentioned, this also constitutes an infringement of the trademark rights of the trademark owner.

Advertising and other commercial practices should not mislead consumers. A commercial practice is misleading if it contains information which is factually inaccurate or misleads the average consumer, thereby possibly leading him to take a decision which he would not have taken otherwise.

Advertising law also relates to telecommunications law and privacy & data protection. When a direct marketing mailing is sent, these areas of law must also be considered.

Our lawyers have extensive experience with the many different rules on advertising and with combating unlawful forms of advertising and other acts of unfair competition.

Our services

  • Conducting proceedings, both interim injunction proceedings, proceedings on the merits and appeals and Advertising Code Committee proceedings in connection with misleading or comparative advertising and unfair commercial practices
  • Correspondence on misleading or comparative advertising and unfair commercial practices: cease and desists orders and negotiations
  • Giving advice on the admissibility of (comparative) advertising, (promotional) games of chance, direct marketing actions, sponsorship of audiovisual content, product placement and on the use of another party’s trademark, portrait, music and (personal) data.
  • Providing advice on what should and should not be included on labels, tags, leaflets and packages
  • Providing advice on (use of) health claims and financial claims
  • Providing advice on the protection of formats, slogans, advertising property and advertising campaigns
  • Drafting, assessing and negotiating agreements between advertiser and agency, sponsorship agreements, collaboration agreements and commission agreements
  • Drawing up terms and conditions for (promotional) actions and giving advice on the use of (personal) data


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