The case was a challenge by the advertising company to the administrative order issued by the Commission on Consumer Protection, banning the television advertisement as constituting unfair advertising.
The Commission on Consumer Protection had based its order on Article 39 no. 5 Law on Consumer Protection. According to this provision any advertising which may cause moral or mental disorder in children shall be deemed unfair. (It should be noted that this article was repealed in whole following the transposition of the Unfair Commercial Practice Directive in Bulgarian law).
The Administrative Court confirmed the assessment of the Commission on Consumer Protection that the advertisement was in a position to cause moral or mental disorder to children. The Court found the advert to be undoubtedly directed at children considering the type of the advertised product, the time span when the advert was shown on television as well as other elements. Although the advertisement was designed with certain humor, the Court noted the vulnerability of children as a consumer group, the powerful impact of electronic media on their perceptions and the likelihood of introducing confusion in their moral and psychological world by uncritically showing violent conduct and lack of compassion and empathy.
The Court confirmed the power of the Commission on Consumer Protection to issue prohibitive injunctive orders to stop misleading, unfair or unpermitted advertisement as laid down in Art. 35 and 36 Law on Consumer Protection. The Administrative Court dismissed the arguments of the complainant that the Commission on Consumer Protection was not a competent institution to infer conclusions and make judgments on the effects of advertisement on children’s morals and health. The Administrative Court indicated that the Commission had consulted the Public Agency on Protection of Children, but noted that even in the absence of such opinion the Commission could rely on its own faculty of judgment and life experience.