Comparative Advertising

Brinsley Dresden, Lewis Silkin Solicitors, shows how comparative advertising restrictions vary internationally and are changing in the UK

Comparative advertising has never been easy. A plethora of laws and regulations have made it a challenge to refer to a competitors name or products in advertising in any medium. In recent years, however, the pendulum appeared to be swinging towards free speech and free competition, and therefore towards a greater acceptance of comparative advertising. But is it now swinging back again?

This article examines the seemingly liberalised approach to comparative advertising in the UK following the introduction of the Trade Marks Act 1994, which implemented the European Trade Marks Directive. It also considers areas of law and regulatory controls that have been used to stymie comparative advertising and looks at whether the proposed comparative advertising regulations will stifle rather than encourage comparative advertising.

Comparative advertising: pro-competitive or anti-consumer?