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Case Details

Case Details
National ID 153
Member State Latvia
Common Name link
Decision type Administrative decision, first degree
Decision date 16/06/2016
Court National Electronic Mass Media Council
Subject
Plaintiff unknown plaintiff
Defendant VSIA “Latvijas Televīzija”
Keywords advertising, Audiovisual Media Services Directive, scope of the Directive

Misleading and Comparative Advertising Directive, Article 2, (a)

Advertising within the meaning of Article 2(a) of Directive 2006/114/EC also includes audio-visual commercial communication as defined in Article 1(1)(h) of Directive 2010/13/EU.
The closing credits of a programme broadcasted on the defendant’s television channel included a trademark and a logo owned by third parties, which the defendant claimed were sponsor references. The court was not convinced and initiated administrative proceedings against the defendant in order to investigate the possible surreptitious commercial communication.
The court found that the trademark and the logo were depicted neither as sponsor references, nor as any kind of advertising, therefore their purpose and nature were unclear to viewers – a characteristic of surreptitious audio-visual commercial communication, which is prohibited.

The court also performed a textual and systemic interpretation of the definition of “advertising” in Article 1 of the Advertising Law (implements Article 2(a) of Directive 2006/114/EC) and concluded that the notion of advertising also includes audio and audio-visual commercial communication as defined in Article 1 of the Electronic Mass Media Law (implementing Article 1(1)(h) of Directive 2010/13/EU), namely:

“advertising on TV or radio, sponsoring, TV or radio store, product placement and other audio, visual or audio-visual communication placed in a programme, placed before the programme or after the programme for a charge or for another remuneration, or for a purpose of self-advertisement, which advertises, directly or indirectly, goods, services or image of the persons, which carry out economic activities”.

Since the audio-visual commercial communication was found to constitute advertising, and the surreptitious commercial communication performed by the defendant was prohibited, the court imposed a fine on the defendant for the failure to comply with the legal requirements for advertising.
Does advertising within the meaning of Article 2(a) of Directive 2006/114/EC also include audio-visual commercial communication as defined in Article 1(1)(h) of Directive 2010/13/EU?
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The court imposed a fine on the defendant for the failure to comply with the legal requirements for advertising.