The role and importance of advertising in modern world can scarcely be exaggerated. Advertising is an essential part of any company’s integrated marketing and PR activities. The advertising market is rapidly evolving, while the regulations become more complex year by year, thus creating the need for a detailed study and analysis of its application. The functioning of advertising businesses as well as of companies that consume their services needs proper legal support.
Tough competition forces manufacturers and distributors to seek and develop various alternative methods of promotion. Sponsorship of cultural or sporting events, television or radio programs, various BTL-activities, direct mail, POS-materials, merchandising, Product Placement, SMS-informing, advertising through Internet resources or social networks etc. are becoming increasingly popular. In this country, however, legal regulation of such alternative methods of promotion is either limited or absent at all, that poses a threat of regulatory authorities’ subjective approach to deciding on the legality and acceptability of such methods.
Apart from the general requirements for advertising Ukrainian legislation sets special requirements for certain types of goods and services, such as medicinal products, alcohol, tobacco, construction projects, financial services, foods etc. Besides, there is a trend towards increased regulation of advertising of specific products or services, with stringent restrictions and even a complete ban on advertising of certain goods and services.
Also, regulatory authorities show growing interest in advertising. Thus, the most common competition violations, as reported by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine, are cases of dissemination of misleading information and unlawful use of trademarks, promotional materials, packaging designs etc. The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine focuses on identifying and ceasing misleading advertising of medicinal products and foodstuffs, as such advertising would endanger the life and health of citizens, as well as of financial services, as it may result in the loss of long-term savings. The exact fines for such violations are not fixed. Besides, there is no clear methodology for calculating such fines (fines of up to 5% of the companies’ sales revenues in the fiscal year preceding the year in which the fine is imposed), so fines may reach very large amounts. The maximum fine imposed by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine for dissemination of misleading information has reached UAH 7,6 million.
Therefore, in today’s business environment due to contradictory and changeable advertising regulations businesses need qualified legal assistance.
Arzinger’s lawyers have extensive experience of working with legislation on advertising and promotional activities, mass media, copyright and other related legal areas. Our highly-qualified specialists are actively involved in the analysis and approval of advertising and promotional campaigns, materials and patterns of promotional activities in different market segments, including those where stringent regulatory requirements are applied to advertising and promotion, such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical services, alcohol, tobacco, foods, and others. Our experts’ unique experience in this area is of assistance in terms of mitigation of risks that may occur at different stages of doing business.
We provide a comprehensive analysis of advertising and promotional materials for compliance with the general requirements of laws on advertising, special requirements on advertising of certain goods, competition and antitrust law provisions, copyright and related rights law etc.
In this regard, Arzinger provides a wide range of legal services, including:
- Legal advice and legal audit of advertising campaigns and PR activities;
- Legal analysis of advertising products (TV ads, articles, layouts, leaflets, etc.);
- Development and legal analysis of advertising or marketing services agreements;
- Development and legal analysis of business development agreements (promotion of products by third parties, co-promotion, etc.)
- Legal support of advertising producers, advertising distributors (including external and internal) and advertisers;
- Legal support and legal analysis of various promotional activities (e.g. sampling);
- Legal support of certain products advertising, including medicinal products, medical equipment; methods of prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation; medical services; tobacco and alcohol; securities and construction projects, etc.;
- Representing clients in dealing with state regulatory bodies, including the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine, consumer protection authorities, the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council, local authorities and other agencies responsible for the control and regulation of the production, placement and dissemination of advertisements;
- Representing clients in courts in cases concerning advertising and promotional activities;
- Advising on the application of legislation on advertising, or on compliance with competition and antitrust laws in the course of advertising activities;
- Advising on advertising activities on the Internet;
- Legal support of advertising on television, radio or print media;
- Legal analysis of alternative promotion methods (SMS messages, webinars, placing advertisements in social networks, etc.);
- Legal analysis of comparative and embedded advertisement (e.g. product placement etc.)
- Legal support of obtaining clearances or approvals for advertising etc.