The Directorate-General for Consumers (DGC) and Advertising Self-Regulation (ARP) today released a guide on advertising communication in the context of covid-19 and recommend consumers “special attention” to misleading advertising disinfectants and masks.
In the guide, consumers are recommended to “pay special attention to advertising messages for cleaning products, hand sanitizers or protective masks, which may be false or misleading, as they claim characteristics or results that the products do not have”.
The DGC and the ARP also appeal not to believe in “content published or shared on websites and social networks that promote products or services that claim to have a cure for covid-19” and remember that “the dissemination of these contents it is a deceptive practice ”.
According to a statement released by the entities, the guide aims to inform and sensitize economic operators to the adoption of good commercial practices, which are compatible with the rights of consumers.
“DGC and ARP joined forces to remind all professionals in the sector the need for advertising to respect the legal and ethical rules in force, equally applicable in the digital environment, where social networks are included, conveying clear, true, understandable information and legible, to enable consumers to make informed choices ”, reads the note sent to the press.
The part aimed at consumers also includes some precautions to be taken when purchasing products or services and recalls the importance of confirming the veracity of campaigns to raise goods and financial donations, before making any contribution.
“With covid-19, we are faced with new challenges in multiple domains, advertising being no exception. In this sense, it is important to remember the rules and principles to which this modality of communication must obey, also emphasizing relevant aspects to which consumers must be particularly attentive ”, says, in a statement, the Secretary of State for Commerce, Services and Consumer Protection, João Torres.
The government official also states that “consumers cannot be diminished in their ability to choose and in their rights” and that companies “have a duty to maintain their communications in a transparent and loyal manner, ensuring and reinforcing the trust built with consumers. ”.
Portugal entered on May 3 in a calamity situation due to the pandemic, after three consecutive periods in a state of emergency since March 19.
This new phase of combating covid-19 provides for mandatory confinement for sick people and under active surveillance, the general duty of home collection and the mandatory use of masks or visors in public transport, public attendance services, schools and commercial establishments.