The Competition Council concluded that the defendant’s statements were misleading advertisements under the misleading advertising regulation which had been in place before introduction of the domestic unfair commercial practices regulation, as the defendant did not present evidence proving the advertised effect of the slimming method “Slimpatch”.
The Competition Council further noted that the defendant’s activity in question should also be considered a commercial practice. The Council referred to the Lithuanian Law on Advertising pursuant to which an advertisement is in all circumstances regarded as misleading if it falls within the misleading part of the blacklist and particularly the prohibition of falsely claiming that a product is able to cure illnesses, dysfunction or malformations.
The Competition Council followed the European Commission’s Guidance on the Implementation/Application of the UCP Directive by stating that the said prohibition is also applicable to products or services, such as cosmetics, aesthetic treatments, wellness products, and similar, which are intended to produce certain improvements of the physical conditions of a human body. As noted in the Guidance, in order not to trigger the prohibition, traders must be able to substantiate any factual claims of this type with scientific evidence.
Following the conclusions of competent authorities, it was noted that overweight is an illness and, therefore, the said statements are considered as relating to effect upon human health. As the defendant did not present evidence objectively proving this effect, the said statements were concluded to be false claims that a product is able to cure illnesses, dysfunction or malformations.