This post was written by Avv. Felix Hofer.

Multinational companies planning to target EU consumers with sophisticated marketing techniques may easily find themselves on a marshy ground, if they do not deserve sufficient attention to European privacy laws. Costumer profiling, monitoring and categorizing offers essential information for crucial business decisions, but have also to

This post was written by Andrés Grunewaldt. 

On the World Intellectual Property day, we want to share the following information with you:

After a long and intense congressional debate that began in 2007, the Chilean government has announced the promulgation of a law amending important and sensitive subjects covered in our current Intellectual Property Law

This post was written by Avv. Felix Hofer, and first appeared in Volume V of the Gala Gazette.

1. Implementing both, EU Directive 2002/58/EC of July 12th, 2002 (Directive on privacy and electronic communications) as well as Directive 2000/31/EC of June 8th, 2000 (Directive on electronic commerce) the Italian legislator decided that unsolicited commercial

This post was written by Peter Le Guay, Partner at Thomson Playford Cutlers.

The Initiative

Childhood obesity has become a major public health issue in Australia with evidence showing that excessive consumption of foods high in fat, sugar and salt is a major contributor to childhood obesity.

One of the most recent steps implemented to combat childhood obesity is the Quick Service Restaurant Initiative for Responsible Advertising and Marketing to Children (“Initiative”) developed by the Australian Association of National Advertisers (“AANA”) in conjunction with a number of fast food companies in Australia.

The Initiative, a self-regulatory scheme, commenced on 1 August 2009 and covers fast food ads run during children’s television viewing times as well as internet sites and computer games targeting children.

The aim of the Initiative is to ensure that only food and/or beverages that represent healthier choices are promoted directly to children (defined as being persons under the age of 14 years) and to ensure that parents or guardians can make informed product choices for their children.

The Initiative requires signatories to ensure that advertising or marketing to children for food and/or beverages represents:

(a)   healthier choices as determined by a defined set of nutritional criteria (being new sugar, salt and fat limits prepared in consultation with dieticians); and
(b)   a healthy lifestyle designed to appeal to the audience through messaging which encourages healthier choices and physical activity.

In addition, signatories must:

  • not engage in product related communication in Australian schools except where specifically requested or agreed to with the school administration;
  • not use popular personalities or licensed characters to promote food or beverage products to children unless that communication complies with (a) and (b) above;
  • not advertise premium offers in any medium directed to children; and
  • ensure that nutritional information is provided on packaging wherever possible including on company websites or upon request.

Major fast food companies such as McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Hungry Jack’s, Oporto, Red Rooster and Chicken Treat have supported the Initiative. However, other major fast food companies such as Nandos and Dominos Pizza are yet to sign.

Complaints in relation to alleged breaches of the Initiative can be made in writing to the Advertising Standards Bureau.

In addition to adhering to the specific rules set out in the Initiative, signatories are also required to abide by the following Codes of the AANA:

1.      AANA Code for Advertising & Marketing Communications to Children

The object of this Code is to ensure that advertisers and marketers develop and maintain a high sense of social responsibility in advertising and marketing to children in Australia. The Code contains, among other things, a prohibition on the sexualisation of children (defined as being a person aged 14 years or younger) or using sexual imagery in advertising/marketing to children that is contrary to prevailing community standards, as well as a prohibition on the portrayal of unsafe situations or unsafe use of products which may encourage children to engage in dangerous activities.

2.      AANA Food and Beverages Advertising & Marketing Communications Code

The object of this Code is to ensure that advertisers and marketers develop and maintain a high sense of social responsibility in advertising and marketing food and beverage products in Australia. The Code states, among other things, that advertising/marketing to children (defined as being 14 years or younger) must be designed and delivered in a manner to be understood by those children and shall not mislead or deceive in relation to any nutritional or health claims. Also, such communications must not state or imply that possession of or use of a food or beverage product will provide physical, social or psychological advantage over other children and shall not include any “pester power” appeal to children to urge adults responsible for their welfare to buy a particular food or beverage item for them.

3.      AANA Code of Ethics

The object of this Code is to ensure that advertisements are legal, decent, honest and truthful and that they have been prepared with a sense of obligation to the consumer and society and a fair sense of responsibility to competitors.

The Initiative follows recent changes to the new Children’s Television Standards (2009) which come into effect on 1 January 2010. Details of the 2009 Standards are set out below.Continue Reading Children’s Advertising – Fast Food Industry Initiative

This post was written by Avv. Felix Hofer.

1. When I came around ‘game advertising’ for the first time my attitude as a lawyer, not necessarily familiar with what I – snobbishly – considered as basically being “kid’s or nerds’ stuff”, was obviously extremely skeptic. Running more and more frequently into articles published on

The UK Advertising and Standards Agency (ASA) has recently published a report in response to an increase in consumer complaints regarding misleading environmental claims in advertisements. Companies and advertising agencies have been accused of "green washing" advertisements – making environmental claims that are less about saving the planet and more about exploiting consumer concerns. Particularly

This forum was written by Avv. Felix Hofer.

1. The European Approach

1.1. Up till now the Europe Union did not issue a set of harmonizing principles and rules meant to specifically govern ‘environmental/green marketing’.

The main reason for such approach was not disinterest from the EU’s institutional bodies towards the issue, but probably

This post was written by Michael Coffino and Marc Goldich.

The press release is an efficient and effective way to provide new or updated information about the operations, business and financial performance of public companies, especially during periods between formal public filings, such as 10Qs and 10Ks.  Where there have been recent, material developments, companies may be required to make public disclosure (through a press release, a Form 8-K, or both) on a more immediate basis rather than wait for their next Form 10 K or Form 10-Q.  At other times, companies may wish to make a disclosure that, while not strictly necessary, concerns a significant industry or company development.  Because the current regulatory environment commands increased transparency in public companies, doubts about whether issuers are duty-bound to speak often are appropriately resolved in favor of the disclosure.  Companies often must make strategic decisions regarding what, when and how to disclose such information.  This is especially true when a company is compelled to correct a prior material misstatement by disclosing bad news that, taken in isolation, presents a limited picture of the company’s financial and business condition and prospects.

It is important to keep in mind that press releases tend to pack a punch, and sometimes disproportionately so.  Markets tend to absorb the contents of press releases with a fair degree of immediacy, and press releases often will have a discernable impact on stock price.  When the news is bad, in addition to a decline in stock price, consequences can include reduced workforce, reduced compensation, damage to corporate credibility and reputation, and increased risk of litigation.  It is not unusual for markets to overreact to news that is not placed in the overall context of the larger business or financial picture.  Worse, corrective disclosures in a vacuum can precipitate a rush to judgment by potential class action plaintiffs or their lawyers champing at the bit to launch a securities fraud class action.Continue Reading To Bundle or Not to Bundle: Public Company Strategies in Packaging Corrective Disclosures in Press Releases