European Commission


Case detail

Directive article Article 14 3. al1 al1 al1
National ID President of the Commercial Court of Nivelles, 15 October 2008
Country Belgium Decision date 15/10/2008
Common name Decision type Court decision, first degree
Court Président du Tribunal de Commerce de Nivelles Plaintiff(s) DIP-Well SA
Court translation President of the Commercial Court of Nivelles Defendant(s) Aqua Vital SA
Subject comparative advertising
Keywords B2Bcomparative advertisingmisleading advertisingproduct characteristics

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Making false statements with regard to a competitor and/or the nature, the origin and the quality of its products can constitute a misleading comparative advertising or a denigrating advertisement.


Defendant and plaintiff are companies active in the supply of drinking water. The defendant approached potential clients and tried to persuade them not to trade with the plaintiff stating false claims concerning the plaintiff.

The defendant falsely mentioned in its advertising emails to potential clients that the water offered by the plaintiff consisted of chemically treated tap water and that the plaintiff had repeatedly withdrawn its products.

Legal issue

Does making false statements with regard to the nature, the origin and the quality of products of a competitor, constitute a misleading comparative advertising?


The court confirmed that the advertising emails were to be considered as misleading comparative advertising, as it was misleading with regard to the nature and origin of the compared products. 

The court also held that falsely stating that a competitor had to withdraw its products in the past, is clearly denigrating advertising. 

  URL Decision Decision full text


The court decided that the advertising email issued by the defendant was misleading and denigrating.

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