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Protecting consumers from misleading advertising in Colombia

  • 01 October 2013
  • Articles

With no doubt, advertising is part of our daily life in a very high percentage, assertive or not, misleading or not, we have come to live with it, and many even live from it.
Basically, advertising has the intrinsic function of communicating the vendor’s commercial purposes, in order to inform them about attributes, advantages and benefits of products and services. But advertising is also, to a large extent, a financial way for the media that creates a great economic chain where product manufacturers, service providers and the media need each other to “conquer the market”, and the achievement of this conquest depends on the impact on end users.

As a result of such economic chain, the need to position products and services, to conquer and lead the market, consumers are bombarded with a number of advertising messages that encourage and persuade to purchase the “incomparable product “. Consumers are catch in a kind of dead end, as the production goal in the advertising battle and media manufacturers that fight for the desired market.

And then the question arises here at hand, what if that advertising is misleading? If it encourages consumers to think or believe something that is not on the product or service they want to purchase? If in the midst of this hype consumers are deceived?

Understanding this problem, the Colombian government begins to regulate the issue through a recent and very important legislation. The Article 30 of the Statute of Consumers in Colombia (Law 1480 of 2011) by which it is prohibited misleading advertising and it is attributed to the media’s liability, in the event of proven fraud or gross negligence in the broadcast or publication of this type of propaganda.

In conclusion, this is clearly a breakthrough in consumer protection in our country, as now; the media will be forced to take responsibility seriously by the content they transmit on advertising.

It is clear that in Colombia, as it is established by the Constitutional Court in Sentence T-381/94 and C-010/00 “it is indispensable in the discretion of the Board, that the media perform a task for research, investigation and verification of the content of the ads, in order to prevent the disclosure that can seriously affect fundamental rights, legal norms, customs or morals” this becomes the first major step to protect consumers.

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Protecting consumers from misleading advertising in ColombiaProtecting consumers from misleading advertising in Colombia