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Case Details

Case Details
National ID [2015] IEHC 495
Member State Ireland
Common Name link
Decision type Other
Decision date 09/06/2015
Court High Court
Subject
Plaintiff Aldi Stores (Ireland) Limited & anor
Defendant Dunnes Stores
Keywords advertiser, advertising, comparative advertising, competition, trade mark, unfair commercial practices

Misleading and Comparative Advertising Directive, link Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, link

This decision suggests that in practice it will be very difficult to defend comparative advertising, particularly in the grocery sector.
In this case Aldi claimed that Dunnes Stores had engaged in unlawful comparative advertising in its stores when it compared fifteen of its products with those of Aldi.

The Court held that Dunnes Stores, one of Ireland’s largest retailers, had infringed the Irish comparative advertising regulations by its use of a comparative advertising campaign with leading global discount supermarket chain Aldi in 2013.
Did the comparative advertising campaign carried out by Dunnes Stores in 2013, in which it compared fifteen of its products with those of Aldi, breach the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 2007?
In granting the injunction against Dunnes Stores, Mr Justice Cregan made particular reference to the “cavalier attitude” Dunnes had displayed towards Aldi’s complaints. The failure on the part of Dunnes to reply to basic correspondence was considered to be “beyond mere discourtesy”. This disregard for Aldi’s rights informed the Judge’s decision to grant the injunction, even though the campaign had ceased.
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The High Court granted the injunction against Dunnes Stores.