Directive 2006/114 - Misleading and comparative advertising (codified version) - EU monitor

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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Directive 2006/114 - Misleading and comparative advertising (codified version)

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Current status

This directive has been published on December 27, 2006, entered into force on December 12, 2007 and should have been implemented in national regulation on October  1, 1986 at the latest.


Key information

official title

Directive 2006/114/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 concerning misleading and comparative advertising (codified version)
Legal instrument Directive
Number legal act Directive 2006/114
Original proposal COM(2006)222 EN
CELEX number i 32006L0114


Key dates

Document 12-12-2006
Publication in Official Journal 27-12-2006; OJ L 376, 27.12.2006,Special edition in Romanian: Chapter 15 Volume 018,Special edition in Bulgarian: Chapter 15 Volume 018,Special edition in Croatian: Chapter 15 Volume 022
Effect 12-12-2007; Entry into force See Art 11
End of validity 31-12-9999
Transposition 01-10-1986; At the latest See Art 10


Legislative text



Official Journal of the European Union

L 376/21



of 12 December 2006

concerning misleading and comparative advertising

(codified version)

(Text with EEA relevance)


Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 95 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1),

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty (2),




Council Directive 84/450/EEC of 10 September 1984 concerning misleading and comparative advertising (3) has been substantially amended several times (4). In the interests of clarity and rationality the said Directive should be codified.



The laws against misleading advertising in force in the Member States differ widely. Since advertising reaches beyond the frontiers of individual Member States, it has a direct effect on the smooth functioning of the internal market.



Misleading and unlawful comparative advertising can lead to distortion of competition within the internal market.



Advertising, whether or not it induces a contract, affects the economic welfare of consumers and traders.



The differences between the laws of the Member States on advertising which misleads business hinder the execution of advertising campaigns beyond national boundaries and thus affect the free circulation of goods and provision of services.



The completion of the internal market means a wide range of choice. Given that consumers and traders can and must make the best possible use of the internal market, and that advertising is a very important means of creating genuine outlets for all goods and services throughout the Community, the basic provisions governing the form and content of comparative advertising should be uniform and the conditions of the use of comparative advertising in the Member States should be harmonised. If these conditions are met, this will help demonstrate objectively the merits of the various comparable products. Comparative advertising can also stimulate competition between suppliers of goods and services to the consumer's advantage.



Minimum and objective criteria for determining whether advertising is misleading should be established.



Comparative advertising, when it compares material, relevant, verifiable and representative features and is not misleading, may be a legitimate means of informing consumers of their advantage. It is desirable to provide a broad concept of comparative advertising to cover all modes of comparative advertising.



Conditions of permitted comparative advertising, as far as the comparison is concerned, should be established in order to determine which practices relating to comparative advertising may distort competition, be detrimental to competitors and have an adverse effect on consumer choice. Such conditions of permitted advertising should include criteria of objective comparison of the features of goods and services.



The international conventions on copyright as well as the national provisions on contractual and non-contractual liability should apply when the results of comparative tests carried out by third parties are referred to or reproduced in comparative advertising.



The conditions of comparative advertising should be cumulative and respected in their entirety. In accordance with the Treaty, the choice of forms and methods for the implementation of these conditions should be left to the Member States, insofar as those forms and methods are not already...


This text has been adopted from EUR-Lex.


Original proposal



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