New Law in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina aims to
regulate protection of merchants from prohibited advertising.
The Law on Prohibited Advertising (Law) was published on 23
December 2016 and will enter into force on 31 December 2016.
The Law regulates forms of prohibited advertising, the procedure
for protection of merchants and criteria for prohibition of
comparative advertising. The Law is applicable to all legal and
natural persons who sell goods or provide services to consumers
within their business activity, and to all persons acting on their
behalf and for their account (Merchants), unless otherwise
prescribed by the law.
The Law defines deceptive advertising and prohibited comparative
advertising as forms of prohibited advertising. Deceptive
advertising is defined as that which leads or may lead to delusion
of persons at whom it is directed or persons whom it reaches, and
thereby influences their economic behavior, or advertising which
harms or may harm market competitors. Prohibited comparative
advertising refers either directly or indirectly to market
competitors or their goods and/or services.
Besides criteria for assessment of prohibition of individual
advertisements, the Law provides the procedure that serves to
protect Merchants and specifies where interested persons may file a
lawsuit to initiate urgent proceedings before the competent
municipal court and in order to request that an existing
publication be terminated or that pending prohibited advertising be
banned. Initiating court proceedings does not preclude the
voluntary regulation or initiation of proceedings before
associations of Merchants or associations which have adopted codes
of conduct in certain business practices or commercial sectors. In
the event that the advertising of certain goods or services, i.e.
prohibition or limitation of advertising, is regulated by specific
rules, those rules shall apply.
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