Who: German Parliament
When: 20 December 2016
Law stated as at: 24 January 2017
Just in time for Christmas 2016 the German legislator passed a law which amongst other things, amends the Act on Advertising in the Field of Health ” [Heilmittelwerbegesetz – HWG]. The revised version of Section 8 now prohibits not only advertisements for teleshopping, but also teleshopping itself. This change became necessary, as it serves as transposition of Art. 1 Sec. 1 lit. 1 of the Directive 2010/13/EU (the Audiovisual Media Services Directive). Along with this change came a legal definition of what is considered to be ‘teleshopping’ pursuant to Para. 1 Sec. 3a HWG. Consequently teleshopping from now on also includes advertisements for medical, dental and veterinary services.
The aim is to provide a high level of consumer protection. In order to prevent risks to health, it is necessary to protect the consumer’s freedom of choice. From the legislator’s point of view, advertising drugs or medical, dental or veterinary services via teleshopping is linked to certain risks. The ban is intended in particular to protect consumers from being rushed into imprudent decisions.
Why this matters:
This legislative change matters, because a violation of Section 8 HWG triggers a fine of up to EUR 50,000.00 (pursuant to Section 15 Sec. Para. 1 No. 5 HWG).. Besides that the violator may face warning letters, since these violations will also be qualified as unfair in the sense of German Marketing Law.