misleading advertisementan advertisement which infringes the law controlling misleading advertisements now derived from European Union regulations. An advert is misleading if it deceives or is likely to deceive its audience and affect their economic decision-making. This also applies if it harms or is likely to harm a competitor of the organization placing the advertisement. A misleading advertisement can be a spoken statement given by a sales representative, in person or over the phone. An advert can be deceptive in various ways, for example, if it contains a false statement of fact, conceals or leaves out important facts, promises to do something but there is no intention of carrying it out or even if it creates a false impression, even if everything stated in it may be literally true.
Comparative advertisement, where the advertisement identifies - either plainly or by implication - a competitor or their goods or services, is allowed, but only if it is not misleading and meets a number of other conditions. It must compare goods or services on a like-for-like basis; objectively compare representative features of those goods and services, which may include price; it does not create confusion in the market regarding the identity of the advertiser and its competitors. This includes matters such as competing trademarks, trade names, goods or services; it does not exploit the reputation of a trademark, trade name, etc, of a competitor or of the place of origin of competing products; it does not present goods or services as imitations or replicas of goods or services bearing a protected trademark or trade name. When a comparative advertisement refers to a special offer it must also include further information in a clear and unequivocal way. That includes the date on which the offer ends or, where appropriate, the period during which the special offer applies. The Office of Fair Trading has extensive enforcement powers but cannot act on issues of taste or decency.