On the 4th May 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the "CJEU") issued a crucial judgment on the absolute prohibition of advertising relating to dental care.
The case referred to the criminal proceedings brought against Luc Vanderborght, a dentist established in Belgium who, contravening national rules prohibiting all advertising relating to oral and dental care, advertised his services via the press, on billboards and on his office's website.
The CJEU ruled that the Directive on electronic commerce precludes the possibility of establishing in the national legislation a general and absolute prohibition of any form of online advertising of the activities of a person performing a regulated profession (i.e. a profession which demands proper training and education).
The CJEU also stated that the article 56 of The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union must be interpreted as precluding national legislation which imposes a general and absolute prohibition of any advertising relating to the provision of oral and dental care services. The CJEU also held that the objectives persuaded by the legislation at issue in the main proceedings (the protection of public health and the dignity of the profession of dentist) could be attained through the use of less restrictive measures, supervising, closely if necessary, the form and manner of the commercial communications. Nevertheless national regulations shall not legitimately impose a general and absolute prohibition of any form of advertising.
The full text of the judgment along with its justification are
available under the following link:
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.