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Case Details

Case Details
National ID 130046313
Dalībvalsts Latvija
Common Name link
Decision type Court decision, first degree
Decision date 22/11/2013
Tiesa Rīgas pilsētas Vidzemes priekšpilsētas tiesa
Temats
Prasītājs SIA „TV3 Latvia”
Atbildētājs National Electronic Mass Media Council
Atslēgvārdi advertising, Audiovisual Media Services Directive, sponsorship, trade mark

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

Sponsoring is a means of advertising within the meaning of Article 1 of the Advertising Law (implements Article 2(a) of Directive 2006/114/EC).
A programme broadcasted on the plaintiff’s television channel contained visual references to its sponsor – a company providing gambling services. According to Latvian law, the advertising of gambling is prohibited outside of premises where gambling is organized. The defendant adopted a decision requiring the plaintiff to pay a fine for failure to comply with the legal requirements for advertising. The defendant based its decision on the assumption that sponsoring should also be considered advertising within the meaning of Article 1 of the Advertising Law (implementing Article 2(a) of Directive 2006/114/EC).

The plaintiff disagreed and insisted that the Advertising Law and its definition of “advertising” is not applicable, because in the particular situation the Electronic Mass Media Law is a lex specialis in relation to the Advertising Law. Furthermore, since the Electronic Mass Media Law contains two separate definitions – “advertising” and “sponsoring”, sponsoring cannot be regarded as advertising. Thus, the plaintiff brought a claim against the defendant in court, requesting to repeal the defendant’s decision.
Is sponsoring a means of advertising within the meaning of Article 1 of the Advertising Law (implements Article 2(a) of Directive 2006/114/EC)?
The court fully agreed with the defendant’s reasoning, in particular, that the terms “advertising” and “sponsoring” as found in the Electronic Mass Media Law (the definition of “sponsoring” is transposed from Article 1(1)(k) of Directive 2010/13/EU) are in fact two sub-types of advertising in the wider sense, as defined in Article 1 of the Advertising Law (implementing Article 2(a) of Directive 2006/114/EC). Therefore, the court concluded that “advertising” as defined in Article 1 of the Advertising Law also includes sponsoring of programmes in electronic mass media channels.
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The court dismissed the plaintiff’s claim.