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Do you refer to environmental labeling in your marketing?
The Patent and Trademark Court of Appeal (PMÖD) has prohibited a company from claiming in advertising, for example on Instagram, that their products are eco-labeled without, in connection with the complaint,
inform about what the label means. That one of the labels referred to by the company; “Ecocert COSMOS” is one of the most common environmental labels for cosmetic products in Sweden has not been considered sufficient to constitute an exception.
As a starting point, it is not enough to just briefly refer to a third-party certification. PMÖD made the assessment that it cannot be expected that an average consumer knows the meaning or significance of various private certifications. The fact that the label appears in the Consumer Agency’s information to consumers does not show that consumers are aware of its meaning, stated PMÖD in the judgment.
An information about certification must be supplemented with information about the meaning of the certification in connection with the complaint. It is not enough for an explanation to be found, for example, on the company’s website when the marketing takes place in other channels, such as Instagram, the company needs to inform the consumer in direct connection to the claim about what the certification means. When advertising on, for example, Instagram, the explanation should therefore appear directly in the post.
The Patent and Market Court of Appeal ruled that the company’s failure to inform about the meaning of the certification meant that the marketing was misleading and in violation of the Marketing Act. The marketing was thus also inappropriate.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your specific circumstances.
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