From 10 January 2016 onward, comparative advertisements will be allowed in Turkey. Provided certain conditions are met, advertisements will be allowed to include competitors' titles, trademarks, logos or other distinguishing marks or phrases, as well as commercial names and company names.

Consumer Protection Law Number 6502 ("Law") entered into force on 28 May 2014. The Law states that "One can make comparative advertisement by using competitor's goods and services that meet the same needs or same purposes" (Article 16(5)). The Regulation on Commercial Advertisement and Unfair Commercial Practices ("Regulation") was published on 10 January 2015, introducing more detail for comparative advertisement provisions. These provisions will enter into force on 1 January 2016.

From 10 January 2016 onward, Article 8(2) of Regulation will apply, enabling advertisements to include "competitors' title, trademark, logo or other distinguishing marks or phrases and commercial names and company names", provided they meet certain requirements.

Accordingly, Article 8(1) of the Regulation states that comparative advertising:

  1. Must not be false or misleading.
  2. Must not cause unfair competition.
  3. Must involve goods and services which have a similar nature and meet the same needs or demands.
  4. Must compare aspects of goods and services which are beneficial to consumers.
  5. Must objectively compare goods and services on at least one point which is substantive, essential, and certifiable. Comparisons can also be made about characteristic features and prices.
  6. If a claim is based on objective, measurable and numeric data, this should be proved by scientific tests, reports or documents.
  7. Must not denigrate or discredit competitors' intellectual and industrial property rights, company names, other distinguishing marks, goods, services, operations or other features.

Until 10 January 2016, the Regulation on Implementation Fundamentals of Commercial Advertisement and Announcements will continue to apply (Temporary Article 1(3) of the Law), including the prohibition on use of "names of compared goods, services or trademarks" in comparative advertisements (Article 11).

Please see this link for full text of the Regulation (only available in Turkish).

Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.

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