On 30 January 2018, our Hong Kong office hosted an interactive discussion on the increasingly complex legal landscape of advertising activities in Hong Kong and China. Partner Eugene Low and our guest speaker, Dr. Albert Ho, practising barrister and former Assistant Commissioner of the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department, provided their insights on some hot topics in this area of law.
Businesses are increasingly looking for innovative ways to advertise their offerings and catch the attention of consumers. At the same time, consumer rights are on the rise globally and the laws are increasingly complex and stringent on what advertisers can and should say. For instance:
- When can traders use superlatives to say they are the “Best” or “No.1” in the trade? Can one ask bloggers or KOLs to write favourable reviews on its products without disclosing the sponsorship connections?
- Is there increased awareness on stereotyped advertising?
We shared some examples of what has been happening around the world, e.g. FTC tightening controls on influencer marketing and the UK ASA clamping down on gender stereotypes.
There were lively discussions on the enforcement trend of unfair trade practices under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance in Hong Kong, as well as cases and controversies about China’s Advertising Law (which underwent some major amendments in 2015). Our speakers also shared practical tips on contents compliance and on suitable contractual protection when dealing with advertising agencies, endorsers and the like.