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.
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.