European Commission


Case detail

Directive article Article 5 4.
Article 6 1.
National ID Ombudsman of the Consumer 10th of October 2007 (Protocol No 1428)
Country Greece Decision date 10/10/2007
Common name Decision type Other
Court Συνήγορος του Καταναλωτή Plaintiff(s)
Court translation Ombudsman of the Consumer Defendant(s)
Subject advertisement
Keywords advertisementmisleading commercial practicesmisleading statementstransactional decision

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Ambiguous references to other institutions and misleading statements regarding the recognition of degrees and diplomas, together constitute a misleading advertisement for an educational institution. 


The defendants, all educational institutions, published advertisements for their educational services that contained, among others, the following misleading statements:

(1) References to foreign institutions, as if they were the ones that were responsible for the realisation of these studies;

(2) A misleading statement that the degrees awarded by the defendants are recognised by the Greek State, although they were not valid according to the Greek law;

(3) References to several non-educational institutions, although their role in the educational procedure was not clear;

(4) Deliberate confusion regarding the competence of the defendants in relation to the academic recognition of their diplomas.

Legal issue

To which extent do the aforementioned elements constitute a misleading advertisement?


According to the Ombudsman of the Consumer, the statements influenced the judgment of the students, and cultivated a false impression regarding their future professional security.

The Ombudsman of the Consumer held that the promotion of the educational services offered by the defendants through untruthful or misleading information, misleads the consumers by leading the students and their parents to take a transactional decision they would not have taken otherwise.

  URL Decision Decision full text


The Ombudsman of the Consumer requested the defendants to:

(1) refrain from similar future misleading public advertisements;

(2) mention in their advertisements that they are merely institutions of free studies, and stop using certain terms such as "college", "academy", "university", etc.;

(3) inform explicitly and in writing the students and their parents, before the conclusion of the contract, about relevant details regarding their studies (such as the exact relation with the foreign institutions, the procedure of recognition of the degrees, etc.)

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