The "Guide on Advertisements Containing Environmental Disclosures" ("Guide"), which was accepted as a principle decision at the meeting of the Board of Advertisement, dated 13.12.2022 numbered 328 was published and entered into force in the same day.
The Guide has been prepared in accordance with the Law on Consumer Protection No. 6502 and the Regulation on Commercial Advertising and Unfair Commercial Practices, to guide all persons, institutions and organizations related to advertising regarding to compliance of environmental declarations and images included in commercial advertisements and commercial applications with the relevant legislation.
The important provisions of the Guide are as follows:
- Basic principles have been determined with the Article 5:
- Environmental signs, symbols and approvals cannot be used in advertisements to deceive consumers.
- In advertisements, general terms such as "green", "sustainable", "eco", "eco-friendly", "environmentally friendly", "zero waste", "recyclable", "environmentally safe", "energy efficient", "recyclable", " carbon neutral", "renewable", "green energy" etc. cannot be used without explanation or in a way which will cause uncertainty for consumers.
- The advertiser cannot use environmental statements regarding the legal processes and standards required by the legislation or practices that are not currently used in a way that creates the perception that it is different or superior to its competitors.
- It should be clearly stated that the environmental declarations included in the advertisements relate to which part or process of that good or service.
- It is regulated that statements regarding the targeted future environmental impacts of goods or services may only be used in advertisements if they are included in a publicly available and verifiable strategy document.
- Consumers must be clearly informed about whether claims regarding the recyclability of a good relate to the whole or part of the product, including its packaging, under which conditions the biodegradation or composting process applies, or whether this process requires special equipment or processes that are not commonly used.
- It is regulated that the content of the comparison should be clearly stated in the comparative environmental declarations included in the advertisements.
- The issues regarding the environmental label logo included in the advertisements must comply with the relevant legislation.
- It is required that the certificates and approvals stated in advertisements regarding a product or its packaging or a service must be verified with documents obtained from national authorized institutions and organizations. In addition, it is also required that descriptive information on what kind of environmental impacts these certifications refer to and what benefits they refer to should be placed in the area where the advertisement is published, or on a website or pop-up screen where consumers can be directed to get detailed information with a link or warning sign.
- Consumers should not be directly or indirectly misled by statements and visuals in advertisements regarding the degradability, recyclability of a product, recycled content within a product, use of renewable energy and recycled water during processes.
- It is regulated that advertisers, advertising agencies and media organizations are individually responsible for compliance with this Guide. Correction or compensation of advertisements that do not comply with the legislation will not relieve the advertiser of responsibility for the detected violation.
Please see this link for the full text of the Guideline (only available in Turkish).
Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroglu Arseven.
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.