Advertising Act - Estonia

On 12 March 2008 the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu) adopted the Advertising Act. The Advertising Act creates the framework for regulating advertising, setting forth a definition and various restrictions on advertising, establishing a supervisory authority, and imposing liability. Among the restrictions are a prohibition on misleading advertising and conditions for using comparisons between products. There is a general prohibition that applies to: the professional activities of lawyers, sworn translators, notaries, bailiffs and patent agents, as well as tobacco products, gambling, lotteries, health care services, pornographic works etc. On the other hand, information about a product or service displayed at the place where economic and professional activities are pursued, signs used to designate such places (incl. exhibiting trade marks), the marking of a vehicle and information on sales packaging of goods are not deemed advertising by the act. So-called sponsorship information is not advertising either. The Act imposes new conditions for advertising alcohol. Now alcohol advertisement must include the following warning: “Attention, alcohol! Alcohol may harm your health”. Requirements for advertising financial services were introduced as well. An advertisement for financial services must now include an invitation to study the terms and conditions of the service offered and if necessary, to consult a specialist. Financial services advertising also must provide information about the cost of credit. This also applies to the so-called SMS loans (i.e. fast credit granted on the basis of a telephone call). The act will enter into force on 1 November 2008.

Raidla Lejins & Norcous