Advertising and marketing—Austria—Q&A guide

The following Commercial practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Advertising and marketing—Austria—Q&A guide
  • 1. What are the principal statutes regulating advertising generally?
  • 2. Which bodies are primarily responsible for issuing advertising regulations and enforcing rules on advertising? How is the issue of concurrent jurisdiction among regulators with responsibility for advertising handled?
  • 3. What powers do the regulators have?
  • 4. What are the current major concerns of regulators?
  • 5. Give brief details of any issued industry codes of practice. What are the consequences for non-compliance?
  • 6. Must advertisers register or obtain a licence?
  • 7. May advertisers seek advisory opinions from the regulator? Must certain advertising receive clearance before publication or broadcast?
  • 8. What avenues are available for competitors to challenge advertising? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different avenues for challenging competitors’ advertising?
  • 9. How may members of the public or consumer associations challenge advertising? Who has standing to bring a civil action or start a regulatory proceeding? On what grounds?
  • More...

Advertising and marketing—Austria—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to advertising and marketing in Austria published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: November 2020).

Authors: Greiter Pegger Kofler & Partners—Georg Huber; Stefan Kofler

1. What are the principal statutes regulating advertising generally?

The main source of advertising law in Austria is the Federal Law Against Unfair Competition (UWG). It includes three main types of prohibited advertising practices:

  1. unfair commercial practices (section 1 UWG);

  2. aggressive commercial practices (section 1a UWG); and

  3. misleading commercial practices (section 2 UWG).

Some further, more specific clauses of prohibited practices exist, such as the disparagement of an enterprise, the misuse of designations of an enterprise, the bribery of employees or agents, or the disclosure of business or trade secrets.

In its annex, the UWG contains a ‘blacklist’ of concrete commercial practices, which are prohibited in all circumstances.

Several former specialised acts and provisions dealing with, for example, promotional gifts, price discounts or clearance sales were repealed. These areas now fall under the UWG.

Case law also gives consideration to other, more specific laws when interpreting the UWG clauses, such as trade regulations, labelling laws and regional planning laws.

2. Which bodies are primarily responsible for issuing advertising regulations and enforcing rules on advertising? How is the issue of concurrent jurisdiction among regulators with responsibility for advertising handled?

According

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