New practice concerning environmental arguments in marketing

Moll Wendén has on behalf of a client won success in a marketing law decision. The Market Court assented to Moll Wendén’s client’s main demand of prohibition and the defendant was prohibited to use the marketing material in question, at the risk of a 1 MSEK fine. The defendant must, no later then September 26, 2010 remove the claim “närproducerat” on all product packages that have been subjects to trial in the case.

The decision has precedential effect and will have consequence on how operators in the food industry may use the expression “närproducerat”. The Market Court confirms that the expression “närproducerat” is perceived as locally produced. As a consequence, the Court finds the expression untrustworthy when used in marketing with nationwide coverage if production only takes place on one site in Sweden.

Owing to certain circumstances the Market Court emphasized that there is no impediment to try statements in marketing that have been used for a long time, also that marketing claims formulated in the shape of questions does not convey that these can not be tried. As a result the Court forbid two marketing statements that had been formulated as rhetorical questions and been in use since 1994.