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Case Details

Case Details
National ID A420163016
Member State Latvia
Common Name link
Decision type Court decision, first degree
Decision date 05/07/2016
Court District Court of Administrative Cases (Riga
Subject
Plaintiff SIA “InCredit group”
Defendant Consumer Rights Protection Centre
Keywords average consumer, misleading advertising, misleading price

Misleading and Comparative Advertising Directive, Article 2, (b) Misleading and Comparative Advertising Directive, Article 3, (b)

An advertisement is misleading if explanatory information describing the applicability of an additional payment is provided, but at the same time made inconspicuous through visual means.
The plaintiff is a consumer credit company that advertised its services on the internet. The advertisements included a text in large, red letters “Credit without monthly interest”, which occupied half of the entire advertisement space. At the same time the advertisement also included explanatory information about an additional “contract supervision” fee in the amount of 10% of the credit amount. This was written in the lower left corner in substantially smaller, white letters. The defendant considered that the explanatory information was inconspicuous and adopted a decision imposing a fine on the plaintiff for misleading advertising concerning the price of its credit services.

The plaintiff disagreed with defendant’s decision and brought the matter before the court.
The court stressed that in determining whether advertising is misleading, account should be taken of all its features, in particular of any information concerning the price and the manner in which it is calculated. Thus, in the court’s opinion the explanatory information on the “contract supervision” fee was important to consumers for making an informed decision.

The court agreed with the defendant that due to the placement, small size and use of white letters this information was made inconspicuous through visual means. Due to this, an average consumer would pay attention only to the big, visually striking text. Hence, the court concluded that the plaintiff’s advertising was misleading.
Is an advertisement misleading, if explanatory information describing the applicability of an additional payment is provided, but made inconspicuous through visual means?
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The court dismissed the plaintiff’s claim in its entirety.