NEW REGULATION ON COMPARATIVE ADVERTISEMENT UNDER TURKISH LAW
Article 8 of the Regulation on Commercial Advertisements and Unfair Commercial Practices is regulating the comparative advertisements and shall be effective as of 10th January, 2016. The aforementioned article considerably limits the comparative advertisement practice. Comparative advertisements enable the consumers to consciously choose between the companies by comparison and to have more information with regard to the goods and services presented. These types of advertisements have been allowed under certain conditions; it has been regulated that the name, trademark, logo or other distinctive figures or expressions of the competitors as well as commercial and trade names may be included in the advertisements as of 10th January, 2016.
The Regulation on Commercial Advertisements and Unfair Commercial Practices has been put into practice based upon the Directive on Misleading and Comparative Advertising No. 2006/144/EC of the European Parliament and Council to harmonize the Turkish legislation with the EU Directives and EU Recommendations.
The relevant regulation has been prepared by the Ministry of Customs and Trade depending on the articles 61, 62, 63 and 84 of the Consumer Protection Law No. 6502 which entered into force on 28.05.2014 by the Ministry of Customs and Trade General Directorate of Customer Protection and Market Surveillance; and has been published in the Official Gazette No. 29232 and dated 10.01.2015 and afterwards has become effective. This regulation has abolished the “Regulation on Principles and Practice of Commercial Advertisements and Announcements No. 4077” (Former Regulation) which was issued under the former Consumer Protection Law.
The aim of this new regulation including all kinds of commercial advertisements and unfair commercial practices with regard to the consumer is to determine the principles that advertisers, advertising agencies, media and all person, institutions and organizations related to the advertisement and those who are engaged in commercial activity must obey. Furthermore, the principles of examination to be made within the scope of this principles and to protect the customers against unfair commercial practices are defined within the relevant article.
Relevant article which shall enter into force on 10th January is as follows;
“ARTICLE 8 – (1) Comparative advertisements may only be made in case;
a) They do not deceive or mislead,
b) They do not lead to unfair competition,
c) The goods and services being compared have the same qualities and features, or meet the same needs or demands,
d) A feature which provide benefits for the consumer is compared,
e) One or more material, major, verifiable and typical quality or qualities, which include the price, of the compared goods or services are objectively compared,
f) Objective, quantifiable allegations based on numeric data are proven through scientific tests, reports or documents,
g) They do not denigrate or discredit the intellectual or industrial property, commercial name, trade name, or other distinct marks, goods, services, activities or other aspects of the competitors,
h) Goods and services are from the same geographical location in the comparison with regard to the goods and services whose origins are specified,
i) They do not lead to confusion regarding the trademark, trade name, commercial name, any other distinct mark, or goods and services of the advertiser and the competitor.
(2) The name, trademark, logo or other distinctive figures or expressions of the competitors, as well as commercial and trade names may be included in comparative advertisements, provided that they comply with the conditions specified in the first paragraph of this provision.
(3) Food supplements cannot be subject to comparative advertising.”
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