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Case detail



Directive article Article 2 (i)
Article 7 4.
National ID Commercial Court of Antwerp, 29 May 2008
Country Belgium Decision date 29/05/2008
Common name Decision type Court decision, first degree
Court Rechtbank van Koophandel te Antwerpen Plaintiff(s) Federatie voor verzekerings- en financiƫle tussenpersonen
Court translation Commercial Court of Antwerp Defendant(s) ING Insurance Services NV and ING Belgiƫ NV
Subject invitation to purchase
Keywords internetinvitation to purchasemisleading advertisingmisleading omissionstransactional decision

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Headnote

 

(1) Inviting a consumer to visit a commercial website does not constitute an invitation to purchase.

(2) In the context of a mere advertisement that does not constitute an invitation to purchase, the possibility of increasing insurance premiums does not qualify as material information that is required by a consumer to take an informed transactional decision.

Facts

The defendants (an insurance company and its affiliate) made publicity for their car insurance service. As part of the publicity, they invited the consumer to visit a website (www.ingauto.be) to try out an "insurance tariff simulator" and obtain an insurance offer. While the website mentioned the possibility of increasing insurance premiums, this information was omitted in the publicity. 

According to the plaintiff, the omission of this information renders the advertisement to be misleading.

Legal issue

Does the omission of information on the possibility of increasing insurance premiums qualify as a misleading omission in the context of an advertisement?

Decision

(1) According to the court, the main purpose of the advertisement was to invite the consumer to visit the defendants' website. The mere fact of inviting a consumer to visit a commercial website does not constitute an invitation to purchase.

(2) In the context of a mere advertisement that does not itself constitute an invitation to purchase, the possibility of increasing insurance premiums does not qualify as material information that is required by a consumer to take an informed transactional decision. Accordingly, by omitting such information, the advertisement does not become an unfair commercial practice. The court also emphasized that it was, in any case, impossible for the defendant to include all contractual conditions in a limited advertisement. The court also took into account that the website offered sufficient information about the increasing insurance premiums.
 

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Result

The claim was dismissed.

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