Westminster Media Forum recently hosted a seminar to discuss native advertising and social influencer marketing and their measurement, regulation and impact on brands. Industry insiders, advertising agencies, content producers, publishers, influencers and regulators joined forces to discuss the challenges faced by these new models of advertising. Central to these latest trends is the shift in
Provisions on consumer protection account for only a small part of the 9th amendment of the German Act Against Restraints of Competition (ARC), which recently came into force. However, the introduction of the reform has led to a highly controversial debate in the press and literature.
Consumer protection in Germany
Traditionally, private enforcement is the main means of protecting consumer rights in Germany. This involves consumers or, more probably, recognised consumer protection associations bringing private law actions to ensure that consumer protection provisions are applied. Unfair competition law plays a central role here. For example, consumer organisations issue cease and desist letters in response to breaches of general terms and conditions of business. If unsuccessful, they then take legal action.
Unlike previously, the debate about the 9th amendment of the ARC focused on strengthening public enforcement. Not that public enforcement of consumer protection law is completely unknown in Germany: the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht – BaFin) and the German Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur – BNetzA) already have powers to enforce consumer rights. BaFin is responsible for the protection of all consumers in the area of financial services, while the BNetzA monitors the misuse of phone numbers. As a result of the 9th amendment of the ARC, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) now also has powers to protect consumers.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reminded celebrities, social media influencers, and marketers that failing to disclose material connections to the products they endorse is #notokay.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today issued a Consent Order imposing a large civil penalty on British Airways for violations of its consumer protection rules. DOT Order 2012-10-1 BritishAirwaysConsentOrder The Department concluded that British Airways had violated Article 17 (damaged/lost baggage) of the Montreal Convention by implementing a policy and tariffs whereby it