Q&As

Comparative advertising—how do I criticise a competitor and stay within the law?

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Published on LexisPSL on 04/12/2013

The following TMT Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Comparative advertising—how do I criticise a competitor and stay within the law?
  • What is comparative advertising?
  • What you can do
  • What you can't do
  • Other risks

Comparative advertising—how do I criticise a competitor and stay within the law?

What is comparative advertising?

Comparative advertising is advertising that explicitly or by implication identifies a competitor or goods or services offered by a competitor. This type of advertising can be used by businesses launching new products that want to show how their product is superior to what is already on the market or is better value. This is a tricky area of law because on the one hand allowing a comparison can promote fair competition and benefit the consumer but, on the other hand, there is a risk that a business could behave in a misleading or unfair way which distorts competition. Comparative advertising is governed by the Misleading and Comparative Advertising Directive (Council Directive (EC) 2006/114) (MCAD 2006) and the Trade Marks Act 1994. See Practice Note: Comparative

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