Illegal advertising


Advertising is an effective help for a company that wants to sell as much of its products as possible and increase brand recognition among consumers. Even the highest quality products will not be purchased in satisfactory quantities if their producer does not take care of proper promotion. That is why it is worth investing in various advertising campaigns - they should contribute to increasing interest in the product and, as a result, significantly affect its sales.

Advertising - prohibited forms

The decision to broadcast an advertisement should be preceded by making sure that the project has been prepared in accordance with the relevant legal provisions. There is no single act in Poland that would exhaustively regulate this issue. Therefore, the Act on Combating Unfair Competition is considered the most important legal document. Pursuant to the Act of April 16, 1993, Polish law lists a number of acts that are prohibited and may be subject to penalties. Among them are:

  • advertisements contrary to the provisions of law, good manners or offending human dignity,

  • advertisements misleading the customer and thus may influence his decision regarding the purchase of goods or services,

  • advertisements that appeal to clients' feelings by causing fear, using superstition or credulity of children,

  • statements that encourage the purchase of goods or services, while giving the impression of neutral information,

  • advertisements that constitute a significant interference with the sphere of privacy, in particular by harassing customers in public places that are burdensome for customers, sending unsolicited goods at the expense of consumers or misusing technical means of communication.

Important provisions regarding admissible forms of advertising can also be found in the press law and the act on national radio and television broadcasting. According to them, advertising of tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, medical services provided on the basis of a doctor's referral, prescription drugs and certain games of chance are considered illegal.

Advertising - who watches over its correctness?

The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection supervises the correctness of advertisements and the safety of their recipients. The main task of UOKiK is to represent the public interest by conducting administrative proceedings against dishonest advertisers for infringement of collective consumer interests.

Start a free 30-day trial period with no strings attached!

Advertising - before you start campaigns

When planning an advertising campaign, it is worth making sure that it complies with the applicable rules. Failure to comply with the law may result in the imposition of fines on the entrepreneur, which can reach up to 10%. revenues from the year preceding the year in which the decision to impose a fine was issued. In addition, UOKiK may issue an order to post on the entrepreneur's website, for a specified period of time, information about the penalty, together with a link to the full version of the decision. A possible penalty is also publishing, at the entrepreneur's expense, information about the UOKiK's decision in the national press. The aforementioned penalties are designed to protect both the interests of consumers and to contribute to an even more effective fight against the most widespread and severe cases of violating the economic interests of weaker market participants.

Before publishing an advertisement, it is worth getting acquainted with the applicable regulations and checking whether the planned project does not violate them. Such action will certainly have a positive impact on the image of the entrepreneur, save him a lot of unpleasantness, and also avoid financial losses. It is worth bearing in mind that advertising that causes customer dissatisfaction may have similar effects to a multi-million penalty, especially if the potential recipients stop using the services or goods offered by the entrepreneur on a large scale.