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MARKETING LEGISLATION: The perils of misleading advertising

Marketers must make sure they’re clued up about what they can and can’t say when promoting their brand. Ellen Forrest-Charde, partner at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP, examines the common pitfalls

Marketing in a competitive world means pushing boundaries. However, recent years have seen a move towards more regulation of advertising and this brings increased legal risks for advertisers. One area that advertisers need to be aware of is the increased regulation of misleading advertising.

The Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations (BPRs) were specifically designed to criminalise misleading advertising (regulation 3) and comparisons made in a subjective and derogatory way (regulation 4). This includes online, as well as verbal, statements. However, it may not be immediately identifiable to businesses what constitutes advertising.