Marketinglaw Update | June 2016

Welcome to the June update of marketinglaw, containing the latest news and articles covering advertising and marketing.

We hope you find it interesting.  If you would like to discuss any of the content in this update, please contact Stephen Groom or the author of the relevant story.

Advertising regulation

  • Broadband price claims regime to change

From October 2016, the Advertising Standards Authority has decreed that the regulatory regime for price claims in broadband ads will be much stricter. Jamie Heatly reports here.

  • European Commission publishes updated Guidance on Unfair Commercial Practices Directive

Not before time, the EC has released revised guidance on compliance with the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive 2005/29/EC. Daisy Jones reports on the sections of this wide-ranging guide which might be of most concern to marketers, read the report here.

  • High Court: Clearcast decision on Prevasore Lip Therapy ad not subject to judicial review

Does the TV ad vetting body perform a “function of a public nature”, thus rendering its decisions susceptible to judicial review? Anna Williams reports on the case of Diomed Direct vs Clearcast and the judgment of Stewart J here.

  • Ultra Finishing Ltd fined £786,688 for resale price maintenance

Following an investigation, the Competition and Markets Authority has slapped a substantial fine on a bathroom supplies specialist for imposing illegal RPM on online retailers. Barney Sich reports here.

  • New proposals to boost EU e-commerce

To help unlock pan EU e-commerce, the European Commission has launched a package of proposals. Included are geo-blocking, parcel delivery pricing and greater powers for national authorities to enforce consumer rights. Stefania Grosso reports here.

Data & privacy

  • Direct marketing opt-in threat in Digital Economy Bill

The recent Queen’s Speech was criticised as lightweight. But lurking within was a harbinger of potential doom for the UK’s marketers in the form of a threat of an opt-in regime for cold calls. Georgina Graham reports here.

  • ICO trails its GDPR guidance programme

With the countdown now underway before Europe’s new data protection law comes into force on 25 May 2018, the UK data regulator has indicated what guidance it will be releasing for UK businesses and when. Eleanor Locke reports here.

Marketing techniques

  • Did Converse trainers prize make Bulmers promotion non-compliant?

To mark the launch of its new Bulmers blueberry flavour cider, Heineken ran a competition offering personalised Converse high-top trainers as a prize. Alcohol Concern complained to the ASA. What was the problem? Chloe Deng reports here.

  • Ofcom launches new mobile nuisance call opt-out

The UK’s “do not call” list enabling users to opt out of nuisance calls is available for mobile as well as landline numbers. Now Ofcom has acted to raise awareness of this and increase mobile registrations. Chloe Dumoulin-Richet reports here.

  • France launches new “do not call” list

The BLOCTEL list has been launched in France.  Users can register their landline or mobile numbers to not receive marketing calls.  How does this differ from the Pacitel list introduced in 2011?  Vincent le Bars of Osborne Clarke Paris reports here.

Media & IP

  • Grenade energy drink litigation raises important liability point

“Grenade Energy Ltd (“GEL”) was the registered company name of the drinks business sued by competitor IPEC Grenade UK. IPEC had “Grenade” trade mark registrations. Could the sole shareholder and director be personally liable? Thomas Spanyol reports here.

  • DC Comics and Marvel back down in “Superhero” battle

Businessman Graham Jules did not roll over when the world’s leading superhero comic publishers threatened to sue over the title of his self-help manual “Business zero to superhero.” Kate Robinson reports on the gripping denouncement here.

  • M&S and Auchan fight over use of “Simply”

ISMS owns the Auchan supermarket brand and operates over 2000 “Simply Market” stores in France and beyond. It claimed M&S infringed its trade mark by sales in France of “Simply M&S” products. Vincent le Bars of Osborne Clarke Paris reports here.

Online advertising

  • ICO fines “Better for the country”

Brexit body £50,000 “” sent 500,000 spam texts to UK mobile users urging a referendum “Leave” vote. ICO said the recipients gave no prior consent and imposed a substantial fine. The organisation says it will appeal. Jude King reports here.

  • German court considers emails and customer satisfaction surveys

Can customers’ email addresses be used for satisfaction surveys without prior consent? Stephan Bahner of Osborne Clarke Cologne reports here.


  • New tobacco packaging controls come into force

Following an unsuccessful last-ditch court challenge by cigarette manufacturers, plain packaging for all cigarette packs is now UK law.  The tobacco industry brands the regime disproportionate and says it will appeal.  Ben Dunham reports here.

Upcoming events

  • Ad Law update breakfast briefing on 21 June 2016

It’s already been an action-packed year for ad law developments and we are not even half way through! Catch Osborne Clarke’s team of marketing law experts providing a whistle-stop reprise of the key marcoms law events so far in 2016. For more details on how to book email

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