Advertising is the action directed to the public in order to promote, directly or indirectly, the goods and services or an economic activity, seeking to persuade the recipients of the excellence of their advertised objects.
It can be in principle useful to consumers, it becomes in many cases an obstacle to a free choice, in favor of the companies using the ignorance and vulnerability of consumers.
Advertising is subject by law to a set of principles, establishing parallel a significant number of prohibitions. Let's look closer to these rules.
The freedom to exercise the advertising activity is limited by the respect of certain key values.
So is prohibited advertising which, by its form, subject or purpose, offend the values, principles and fundamental institutions enshrined in the Constitution. For example, it is forbidden to advertising:
- Disparagingly to relieve national symbols, religious or historical characters; Make appeal or encourage violence; Contain discrimination on grounds of race or sex; use obscene language;
- Use languages of other countries when the message does not have the foreign main or exclusive by recipients.
Advertising must be clearly identified as such, and on radio and television it must be separated from other programming by acoustic or optical signals.
Whatever advertising media, consumers have to know that is before an advertising message. Hence the prohibition of surreptitious or covert advertising.
Advertising is said to be hidden when the recipient is unaware that it is the target of an advertising message, which is achieved by the use of subliminal images or other masking means.
This is the case of images interspersed in a film that, for the brevity of appearance, only the subconscious can capture, ie, induce the recipient sensory perceptions that it is not enough to be aware.
On the other hand, is also prohibited the direct and exclusive focus of the existing advertising in any event or situation, real or simulated (eg, international attention call for a bottle label in a televised scene).
Advertising should be true not distort the facts.
All information concerning the origin, nature, composition, properties and conditions of acquisition of goods or services being advertised, should be accurate and verifiable, that is capable of proof, at all times.
It is thus prohibited misleading advertising, that in any way, including its presentation, deceives or is likely to mislead its addressees could harm a competitor.
Last but not least, advertising should not undermine the rights of consumers. It is therefore prohibited advertising to encourage behavior prejudicial to health and consumer safety, with special care in the field of advertising targeted at children, adolescents, the elderly or people with disabilities, which is recognized the vulnerability of these types of public.
The principles and consequent bans acquire projection on restrictions on advertising content. For example, minors can only be involved in advertising where there exists a direct relationship between them and the product or service advertised.
In turn, the advertising of alcoholic beverages is only allowed when not specifically direct the minors, do not encourage excessive consumption, does not suggest success and is prohibited on TV and radio, between 07: 00h and 21: 30h. Tobacco advertising and the medicines obtained only on prescription is not allowed.